Thursday, 28 October 2010

Open House - Serving the Homeless

Andrew reports on his evening at St Anne's Church, Soho

Today after work I popped along to St Anne's Church in Soho to do a spot of volunteering. Having connections with the church, students from Newman House can go every week and help out. I really enjoyed it, even after a day in Parliament. It definitely pops the Westminster bubble and bring you back down to earth.

From 5.30-6pm I helped set up tables and chairs with cutlery and condiments. Our customers queue from 5pm (or earlier) for the food, drink and hospitality on offer. After some prayers, food is served. It's good grub, cooked by some amazing chefs in advance, and much better than my solo gastronomic efforts!

My job as a first-timer during the meal-time was to serve milk to those drinking tea and coffee, not all too easy as demand was high this late October evening.

I was really impressed by the volunteers who turn up every week to make the operation happen - it's quite a sight to see so many people fed in a fairly short turn around period of under 90minutes (although a lot of preparation time is needed).

I'm definitely planning to make it a regular part of my time during my internship to go work at Open House. It's enjoyable volunteering with others from NH and others in the community. I just hope I have the stamina to keep it up with my other internship commitments - Heythrop, Cardinal Hume Centre, Newman House... oh and Parliament!

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