They say that charity begins at home – but what happens when you don’t have one? We have been absolutely bowled over recently by one particular local charity that is doing incredible things to help homeless people in the area: Wintercomfort.
Wintercomfort supports people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes in Cambridge. It offers a safe place, where people can feel welcome and valued, and have access to basic amenities such as meals, showers and laundry facilities. There is a range of educational and recreational activities on offer, as well as opportunities to access other agencies, such as health services, legal advice and so on. Importantly, Wintercomfort also arranges meaningful work and volunteering opportunities through its social enterprise initiatives. These include the Community Café at St Andrews Hall, Chesterton, a successful cleaning service (Overstream Clean – www.overstreamclean.co.uk), and a highly recommended corporate catering service (www.food4food.org.uk), recently given “Preferred Supplier” status by the University of Cambridge.
Social Enterprise Manager Rachel Newell says they are thrilled to have achieved this coveted status, adding, “We hope it will boost business and enhance Food4Food’s already good reputation.” We hear the home-made mini Cornish pasties are particularly delicious!
This recent success is no one-off either. There are plenty of reasons to celebrate at Wintercomfort at the moment, including a fantastic new job for a previous service user, collaboration with medical students at the University of Cambridge and local hospitals, new qualifications awarded by our local MP to two hard-working individuals, and a former service user being awarded Cambridge Regional College’s Apprentice of the Year! But however many successes they enjoy, there is always an ongoing need to bring in more funding, volunteers and resources to help the users.
Wintercomfort operates an active schedule of fundraising events to raise awareness and involve members of the public and local businesses, and there is something to appeal to all tastes and interests.
Working with local businesses is a key part of Wintercomfort’s strategy, and at Victoire we are keen to get involved to help out where we can. We have a few ideas bubbling away, which we will share with you when they are more concrete – if you have any ideas, or would like to volunteer your time or resources, we know they would be gratefully received. You can find out more by visiting www.wintercomfort.org.uk – and watch this space for more news on how we will be supporting Wintercomfort in the coming months.