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Improving the health and well-being
of people living in East Yorkshire
and Northern Lincolnshire

 

Kingfisher Café - £5009 awarded by the Trustees from our Lazenby Fund within Help for Health to provide meals and support to the homeless and people on low incomes in Bridlington. The charitable objects and activities are to relieve the needs of people who are homeless or in financial hardship in Bridlington and the surrounding area. Since 2011, the café has provided regular meals throughout the week together with clothing, bedding and items for the home and other necessities. Facilities are provided for washing and an address for correspondence. The volunteers, some of whom have been homeless in the past and have previously benefited from the Cafe, offer support and advice in a safe and friendly environment. Excellent partnerships have been established with other local organisations and fantastic support is received from the local community. There are no staff costs. 

In May 2018, Kingfisher Café were awarded the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Chairman’s Award for Community Groups. The Chairman's Awards are presented annually by the council to individuals, companies and organisations in recognition of their achievements towards enhancing the area in which they work and live. Issues and challenges presented by beneficiaries include unemployment, low incomes, family breakdown, poor housing or inability to get housing and some are ex-offenders. They may have had drug and alcohol problems and they may have poor physical and mental health. The food provision includes preparing, cooking and serving breakfast on four days per week, hot evening meals on three nights per week and a Sunday Lunch. 

With each evening meal an additional ‘pack-up’ of a sandwich with either fruit, biscuit or cake are available to take away. A flask of tea or coffee is also available if needed.

Sixty free-of-charge meals are provided each week for 52 weeks per year. Therefore the café sources, prepares and serves over 3,000 meals per year. 

A new beneficiary is advised and encouraged to register with medical services, the council and the benefits office. Help is provided with the completion of forms for medical assistance, benefits and housing, with the completion of job applications and the café is used as a postal address for our beneficiaries’ correspondence. The café is also a contact point for families so that they can stay in touch with their loved ones.

Other charities visit the café every week to build a rapport with the beneficiaries and then provide help with their financial, housing and health challenges. Donations of clothing and household goods are distributed to those in need. Beneficiaries are referred from a number of sources including the Samaritans, the local police, probation office, children’s centre and local churches. As a well-established and respected charity in the area many beneficiaries arrive through word of mouth. The café works closely with other organisations to help support the people who come into the café. They work as a team with the Salvation Army to provide clothes and sleeping bags, with the local police, probation service and the Council and are able to inform Emmaus Hull and East Riding who provide a Rough Sleeper Support Service.

There are also very good relationships with local supermarkets, churches and businesses that make donations. Beneficiaries usually go to the café because they have little or no money. If a beneficiary is in receipt of benefits they pay £1.50 per day for breakfast and a lunch pack-up. This food is topped up by donated food which is received from the local supermarkets. When families on low incomes arrive they often have had their benefits sanctioned.  Food is given to last them about two weeks when hopefully their financial situation is restored. Year on year there has been an increase in the number of beneficiaries. Bridlington is an area of deprivation with high levels of poverty, homelessness, ill-health, disability and older people. The number of rough sleepers in the East Riding has doubled in the past five years. Disadvantaged and older people move from all over Yorkshire to Bridlington. More recently, support has been provided to a number of Syrian Refugees who have moved into the area.

Our volunteers provide hot, home cooked food and ensure a welcome and friendly environment which is non-judgmental, non-stigmatising, confidential and safe. With regular home-cooked meals the beneficiaries move towards more stable lives. The vulnerable people supported feel more valued and have improved mental and physical health. Beneficiaries are supported to move into volunteering roles at the café as well.