‘Angels’ serve up thousands of sandwiches for homeless

A HYDE-BASED charity is helping feed the homeless by making thousands of sandwiches from its community hall base.

Sandwich Angels spends just three hours a week putting together some 2,500 snacks.

They are distributed to local soup kitchens and hostels in Tameside and Manchester, as well as the many outreach teams helping Manchester homeless – they send their volunteer drivers to collect.

And their work is really making a difference as the group works with the Tameside branch of the A Bed Every Night, established by the 10 councils that make up Greater Manchester in a commitment to provide a bed, welcome, hot meal and support for anyone sleeping rough in the area.

Sandwich Angels also work with the Change Grow Live Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service and the We Shall Overcome homeless group.

It also provides referrals to the professionals it has come to respect, the Tameside Housing Association and its social workers.

Some of its members regularly go out on the streets of Manchester, feeding with the outreach teams of organisations like the Manchester Homeless Group.

Homeless veterans and even those who are technically homeless but ‘sofa surf’ by sleeping on friends’ couches are helped.

Founder Christina Howard admitted things are busy, saying: “We are an active team of ordinary people who don’t get paid who love helping people in need who could be any one of us.

“Sometimes the vulnerable ones in society fall, people losing their jobs and can’t pay their household bills, debts depression, domestic violence, alcohol, drugs or mental illness.

“Our members come from different backgrounds, young and old, retired, students, professionals all united helping. We don’t get paid and we accept fillings and food vouchers.

“Seven days a week, we actively distribute fruit and vegetables, clothing and hygiene products to those groups we help.”

But how does Sandwich Angels, based at St Mary’s Community Hall in Newton, get the food to carry out its work? It is by public donations at locations around Hyde, including Morrison’s supermarket, Bennett’s Staff Bureau, Happy Memories Play Centre, Stacey’s Hair Salon and the Kinder Giggles Nursery and Pre-School.

It especially welcomes tins of meat, fish, pot noodles, pot porridge oats, soups, coffee, tea, sugar and soups.

Old clothes, sanitary towels and hygiene products are also taken in, with a recent call for menswear, jackets, sweaters, tops, jogging pants and trainers, shoes and deodorants.

They are also low on women’s trousers, tops and shoes, sanitary towels and hygiene products.

Sandwich Angels was recently awarded a five star food safety rating from Tameside Council, so whatever is made is made in the safest possible way.

The team meets every Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-10.30am at St Mary’s Community Hall, Talbot Road, Newton. Volunteers welcome.

Its drop-off centre for old clothes is The Storage Place, Fromac Works on Junction Street in Hyde.
Its opening times are Monday to Friday from 8.30am-5pm and Saturday from 9am-4pm.

Anyone with any enquiries can text 07713 973640.

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