The food station and tent are set up on Wednesdays and Fridays on Main Street and the volunteers can often be helping up to 50 people per night. They also support their service users in any way possible by providing warm clothes, tents and many other essential items.
The Dining Room charity has a mix of service users including men and women living on the streets, people from the homeless shelter and families with children struggling to make ends meet.
The service they provide is completely reliant on volunteers and donations. The volunteers are vital to this service and help in many areas such as providing home-cooked food, donations, setting up the tents and food station, providing a friendly ear and offering company to service users.
To get involved, AES donated 60 care packs (30 male and 30 female) before Christmas that included everything from snacks, food, toiletries, sanitary products, gloves and socks to reusable water bottles. In addition to the individual care packs, AES also provided family-care packs to ease the burden for some struggling families. AES volunteers also helped set up and cooking duty on the nights of the 4th and 25th January. Many felt that it was a humbling and eye-opening experience.
Ciara Bennett, volunteer manager of The Dining Room, said: “It was wonderful to have a local business join us in our efforts and helping the community they are based in. We very much appreciate their donations and volunteering their time with our group.”
AES look forward to joining the team at The Dining Room again as they continue their very important efforts to make the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our community a little easier. If you would like to get involved please visit their Facebook page.