A taster session at Ramsgate Tandoori yesterday (December 2) has raised more than £200 for the Thanet Winter Shelter scheme.
Raushan and Reza Ara, along with Sharon Goodyear of Our Kitchen Thanet, offered tasters of delicious curries and Our Kitchen’s low sugar , locally made carrot cake and flapjack, in return for donations.
The funds will be used by the Salvation Army to buy bedding food and other essentials for vulnerable people who are homeless this winter.
The shelter, which operates from seven church halls in Ramsgate and Margate,runs from December 1 to February 28.
The scheme keeps rough sleepers off the streets during the harsh winter months.
As well as providing bed, clothes and food, a key aim is to better equip some of the district’s most vulnerable people to help them secure and retain longer-term accommodation There is also help with training and employment.
The Winter Shelter is again to run alongside Glo Gen’s Aspire Homelessness programme and the homeless charity, Porchlight. The co-ordinated response means that individuals won’t simply leave after breakfast as they are provided with practical help throughout the day. Guests can access support, including training and skills, from one place, helping them to make the difficult move from homelessness to rehabilitation back into the community.
But Raushan says a longer-term solution must also be found. She said: “The Winter Shelter runs with the help of many volunteers and provides a vital service that can actually save lives, but it is only a temporary fix. A long-term solution must be sought in order to prevent further deaths due to the cold, as has sadly occurred over the last few nights in Kent.
“The shelter will be open for the next 12 weeks, if extreme weather occurs after the shelter has closed what will happen to the vulnerable members of our community who depend on it for survival?”
The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers who can offer a few hours of their time at the shelter.