Angels of mercy – volunteers team up with Leisure Centre café staff to provide hot food boost for homeless

OLDHAM Street Angels have added extra items to their regular menu of help since lockdown.

The volunteer Angels are usually deployed helping revelers and supporting those involved in the night-time economy.

But with bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants currently closed, the group has joined forces with staff at the Revolve Café in Oldham Leisure Centre to provide the homeless and those in need with freshly cooked food.

Volunteers provide takeaway hot meals on Wednesdays between 2pm-4pm and Saturdays between 9pm-11pm.

Donna Shaw, Angels’ co-ordinator and development worker, said: “As the night time economy closed, the Street Angels started to offer hot meals, hot drinks and toiletries the vulnerable may need.

“The last few weeks have become really challenging. We are in a new lockdown and have lost a lot of our donations.

“However, we have managed to keep going through generous individuals and companies, helping us to provide 200 meals a week.

“We are so grateful to our volunteers and partners, including OCL. We are committed to help those in need and we are humbled by the Oldham community spirit, helping us to help others.”

Mark Woodcock is project officer for the Oldham Active Communities Project, run through Oldham Community Leisure.

He and the team collect the food and Oldham Leisure Centre cooks, Brenda and Lesley, prepare wholesome and filling meals for the Street Angels to distribute.

Mark said: “Prior to lockdown we ran a regular Friday Club at Oldham Leisure Centre to help combat loneliness.

“As the Friday Club is currently held virtually, we looked at the most effective way to use some of the funding we allocate to run this club in to the wider community.

“We felt it would be a great idea to offer some freshly cooked meals to the homeless and to those would really benefit.

“OCL has been very supportive of ways to engage with the community at this difficult time and want to continue to help out, even when our centres remain closed.

“We are very lucky members of our team, such as Lesley and Brenda, are happy to volunteer and help to build strong community partnerships.”

For more details about the Oldham Street Angels visit:

https://www.facebook.com/OldhamAngels

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