Worthing Soup Kitchen began humbly from the boot of a car at Teville Gate in Worthing over 7 years ago. Khristina McCormack, the founder of SHOUT WSK realised there was a need for another food service.
Khristina was volunteering with another project on Monday nights at Saint Mary of the Angels church and some of their clients asked where they could get a hot meal on other evenings. Worthing Soup Kitchen was then conceived.
Initially food was served on a Thursday night at Teville Gate and later from St Matthew’s church which became a sit-down meal. The atmosphere was upbeat with entertainment frequently supplied by one of the clients on the piano.
Khristina cooked food at her home after attaining a 5-star food and hygiene rating from Environmental Health. This later expanded to include a Sunday morning breakfast from St.Clare’s Day Centre.
This is a vital service which provides engagement with the homeless community. Previously Sunday was referred to as ‘suicide Sunday’ due to the number of deaths that historically took place because of the lack of support and availability of services.
SHOUT WSK has over 60 volunteers spanning from Lancing to Littlehampton. The role of a volunteer varies from coordinating deliveries of food parcels and furniture, organising collections of donations, delivering, preparing and serving meals to our homeless community as well as fundraising.
At the height of COVID-19, we ran a soup kitchen every night from 6-7pm. Hot meals and soup were kindly provided by Jason Earl at Cocks Kitchen and the WSK team. Drinks and other donated food items, such as pastries from Greggs and Piglet’s Pantry accompanied the evening meals in a take away bag.
We currently cook Sunday morning breakfast to order which is often the highlight of our attendee’s week. It is a good time to interact, open up communication lines and engage with the homeless community. Building up trust and encouraging transparency while checking on their welfare and taking requests for items they may need. It also offers them a place to network with other members of the community.
Since the beginning of July, we have been hosting a dinner and movie night at the River of Life Church on Broadwater Road on Friday’s from 7pm to 10pm, where a sit down meal is provided and a movie.
We have a Facebook page which has over 1700 members and continues to grow. This has been key in helping us to generate the funds needed to achieve charity status while providing a space for people to ask us for help including advice, food and home items. We also use this forum to ask the community to help in sourcing items or skills needed.
On the 15th of September 2020, we received charity status. We are registered as SHOUT WSK and our charity number is 1191297.
Our next venture is to open a premises where we can run a zero-food waste café using some of our food donations, alongside a charity shop to generate income. This will provide opportunities for both our clients and volunteers to learn new skills working alongside each other in our community. We have looked at the Emmaus model for inspiration and are so excited about this project and what it will do to help make homelessness in Worthing a thing of the past. Watch this space!
If you would like to support us, you can donate, volunteer your time or donate requested items. Just drop us a message on our Facebook page or click below.