The Queens Arms Alcohol free pub for the homeless

To launch an alcohol free pub serving hot, free food to the homeless and needy. Free clothing and school uniform will also be on offer.

We did it!

On 21st Jul 2017 we successfully raised £2,233 with 45 supporters in 56 days

THE VISION FOR READING, AN ALCOHOL FREE PUB SERVING FREE HOT FOOD FOR HOMELESS AND NEEDY. We are raising funds to transform the Queens Arms pub in Great Knollys Street Reading.  We will be cooking  and serving  Reading's surplus  food to those who need it.

We will be serving a hot Sunday dinner, offer free clothing, advocacy, support and love to the homeless and needy in Reading.   We are also planning to launch a new charity to provide free hot food and drinks for those with a local connection to Reading and safe place to stay in an alcohol and drug free environment.

Once we are up and running, we will offer a hot meal and a meeting place for homeless families in bed and breakfast.  Families will be able to come along after school, have hot meal and the children will be able to play in the enclosed garden, just like a pub but with no alcohol!

Did you know....

More than 1,500 homeless families and individuals from Reading have been provided with emergency bed and breakfasts (B&B) accommodation in the last five years.  There are over 100 families in emergency bed and breakfast 

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/reading-berkshire-news/number-homeless-reading-families-increasing-11469103

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/reading-berkshire-news/reading-council-predicts-200-families-12089050

 

WHO ARE WE AND WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

THE WAY MINISTRY READING

The Way Ministry Reading was started in December 2012 by me (Grace Gomez) and my husband (Joe Gomez).  We have been volunteering for Faith Christian Group Charity and serving hot drinks and sandwiches to those in need regularly for many years. Between us we have clocked up 17 years of volunteering serving the homeless and needy in Reading.

Back in December 2012 we were literally serving the homeless and the needy on the streets.  You may have seen us in Reading Market from 8pm to 9pm on a Friday evening along with the team of volunteers.  We served up teas, coffees, soup and sandwiches to whoever showed up in all weathers.

When I first started to volunteer there back in July 2012, I was so moved by what I saw.  I had no idea that people were homeless and sleeping rough in the town that I was born and grown up in.  I went home that night VERY grateful for the roof I had over my head and a bed to sleep in and I cried for those who did not.  As time went on volunteering every Friday we had an urge to do more than just hand out tea, coffee, soup and sandwiches. It would get very busy at times and we would barely get time to talk to people especially when we were only a team of 4 or 6.  We started to think that we could actually do something to help people if we had a better environment to meet in.  I was surprised to learn then that there was no night shelter for homeless people in Reading and was horrified to know that people were living in car parks, sheds, and shop doorways.   Over the years this situation has become worse.  You only have to take a walk through the town centre at any time of the day or night to see these people.

In December 2012 The Way Ministry Reading was born to a meet what we saw as a need.  We secured free use of the Coley Park Community Centre and opened the doors on a Sunday afternoon not knowing who would come along.  4 people turned up, we cooked spaghetti bolognese and had a good afternoon together.  In time the Way Ministry grew in numbers and my husband and I could no longer mange to cook and minister to our guests.  My sister Andrea started to join us in her lunch break and became our first volunteer.

 We have grown in number and volunteers since then, from the first 4 guests who turned up to 35 plus guests today. We now have a pool of dedicated volunteers who are first aid trained and have food safety training. We have also benefited from the support of 'The Passage' of London who delivered tailor made in house training sessions for us.

We love what we do; it is a real privilege to be called to serve those in need.  We don’t just serve food, the people who come along know that we love and care for them.  We offer love, support and sign posting to other agencies as well as free clothing and a hot meal. 

We support the homeless and the needy that come through our door.  We have seen an increasing number of homeless people.  Some to mention

  • The ex solider who was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and depression who had been sleeping rough for 2 years,
  • The young man with mental health problems (not severe enough to warrant help) was suffering from blinding migraines sleeping in a car park
  • The young woman who was living in her car having fled domestic violence
  • The young woman who used to hide in the hospital toilets to sleep at night
  • The man who had been sleeping in a tent who felt so outcast from society that he didn’t want to come into the town
  • The young man who had been evicted from his home sleeping in a bin shed and still managing to hold down a full time job
  • The young man living in a tent near to the rubbish tip that had nothing and would volunteer alongside us on a Friday evening.......

Looking back, there were times in my life when I was homeless and 'sofa surfing.' I was also homeless as a young single parent and know firsthand what it is like to live in one room with a child in emergency bed and breakfast. 

THE VISION FOR READING -  AN ALCOHOL FREE PUB SERVING FREE HOT FOOD AND DRINKS FOR HOMELESS AND NEEDY READING. GETTING READING'S FOOD WASTE TO THOSE WHO NEED IT.

After a lot of praying and searching for a property, The Queens Arms, Great Knollys Street, Reading was made available to us.  We took the keys on Tuesday 16th May 2017.  We have a month to get the property decorated and to open the doors again before we start to pay the rent, utilities etc.

 We plan to have days when we have free clothing on offer to anyone who needs it, so if you have good quality clothing that you no longer use then please let us have it.

We will also be having a free school uniform shop for those in need.  So if you have school uniform that your children have grown out of then please pass it our way.  Did you know that Reading's food bank delivers around 120 emergency food parcels to families and individuals every week?  People struggling to buy food will have a need for clothing and school uniform for their children as well.

We need to raise £19 000 for the following;

  • rent, utilities, council tax
  • refurbishment of the bar, kitchen, function room, garden area and secure fencing
  • Insurance, CCTV installation, internet installation
  • Building works on the internal building to make sure the building is fire safe.

 This will not cover the cost of the project for the entire year.  We are also looking for companies and individuals who will host fundraising events for us.

The Way Ministry is staffed by volunteers and will rely on donations and public support.  We intend to make use of the 240 000 tonne food waste in the England, starting in Reading.  We will be partnering Fareshare to get the food to those who need it.  We will also be approaching local food companies to collect their surplus food.

http://www.fareshare.org.uk/

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/foodforlondon/revealed-the-full-scale-of-supermarket-waste-a3348381.html 

 DO YOU WANT TO BE INVOLVED OR CAN YOU HELP IN SOME WAY??

We are going to need volunteers in lots of different roles.

  • Collecting food from various stores in the evening for delivery to the premises
  • Cooking and setting up
  • Help with future fundraising
  • Cleaning the premises
  • Help by offering advocacy to our guests
  • Help with the administration

Please get in touch if your company can help by volunteering, sponsoring our project, or offering us your surplus food.  

We will also be working with Piaroo’s Wish Helping the Homeless and Vulnerable, a community group who serve hot food and give out clothing and toiletries to the homeless and vulnerable in Reading. They will be serving a hot meal and drinks to the homeless and vulnerable on a Wednesday.

https://www.facebook.com/Piaroos-Wish-Helping-The-Homeless-and-Vulnerable-in-Reading-Fundraising-1708292552765661/

Our new home at the Queens Arms will be used by other groups during the day so that we can support homeless and vulnerable people and families in other areas in their life

WE CAN’T SOLVE THE HOUSING CRISIS BUT IF WE COME TOGETHER WE CAN HELP THE HOMELESS AND VULNERABLE IN READING

TOGETHER WE CAN GET THE SURPLUS FOOD IN READING TO THOSE IN NEED.

DRINKS FOR HOMELESS AND NEEDY READING. GETTING READING'S FOOD WASTE TO THOSE WHO NEED IT.

After a lot of praying and searching for a property, The Queens Arms, Great Knollys Street, Reading was made available to us.  We took the keys on Tuesday 16th May 2017.  We have a month to get the property decorated and to open the doors again before we start to pay the rent, utilities etc.

 We plan to have days when we have free clothing on offer to anyone who needs it, so if you have good quality clothing that you no longer use then please let us have it.

We will also be having a free school uniform shop for those in need.  So if you have school uniform that your children have grown out of then please pass it our way.  Did you know that Reading's food bank delivers around 120 emergency food parcels to families and individuals every week?  People struggling to buy food will have a need for clothing and school uniform for their children as well.

We need to raise £19 000 for the following;

  • rent, utilities, council tax
  • refurbishment of the bar, kitchen, function room, garden area and secure fencing
  • Insurance, CCTV installation, internet installation
  • Building works on the internal building to make sure the building is fire safe.

 This will not cover the cost of the project for the entire year.  We are also looking for companies and individuals who will host fundraising events for us.

The Way Ministry is staffed by volunteers and will rely on donations and public support.  We intend to make use of the 240 000 tonne food waste in the England, starting in Reading.  We will be partnering Fareshare to get the food to those who need it.  We will also be approaching local food companies to collect their surplus food.

http://www.fareshare.org.uk/

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/foodforlondon/revealed-the-full-scale-of-supermarket-waste-a3348381.html 

 DO YOU WANT TO BE INVOLVED OR CAN YOU HELP IN SOME WAY??

We are going to need volunteers in lots of different roles.

  • Collecting food from various stores in the evening for delivery to the premises
  • Cooking and setting up
  • Help with future fundraising
  • Cleaning the premises
  • Help by offering advocacy to our guests
  • Help with the administration

Churches in Reading, can you help by with volunteers?

Please get in touch if your company can help by volunteering, sponsoring our project, or offering us your surplus food.  

We will also be working with Piaroo’s Wish Helping the Homeless and Vulnerable, a community group who serve hot food and give out clothing and toiletries to the homeless and vulnerable in Reading. They will be serving a hot meal and drinks to the homeless and vulnerable on a Wednesday.

https://www.facebook.com/Piaroos-Wish-Helping-The-Homeless-and-Vulnerable-in-Reading-Fundraising-1708292552765661/

Our new home at the Queens Arms will be used by other groups during the day so that we can support homeless and vulnerable people and families in other areas in their life

WE CAN’T SOLVE THE HOUSING CRISIS BUT IF WE COME TOGETHER WE CAN HELP THE HOMELESS AND VULNERABLE IN READING

TOGETHER WE CAN GET THE SURPLUS FOOD IN READING TO THOSE IN NEED.

Find us on Facebook 

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=the%20way%20ministry%2C%20reading

https://www.facebook.com/search/str/new+beginnings+reading+cio%2C+the+queens+arms+reading/keywords_top

 


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