The season of goodwill is here and Birmingham has taken note, with a record number of volunteers and donations for homeless charity, Let’s Feed Brum. As the temperatures have plummeted, the city has warmed the hearts of the homeless population, coming together to offer essential supplies, funds, and time to the local charity. Incredibly, over 25 volunteers have even pledged to help on Christmas day!
Whether it’s on account of the festive spirit, or the shocking revelation that one in 73 people in Birmingham are now homeless, Let’s Feed Brum’s support has surged, with individuals and businesses alike coming on board to do their bit.
Professionals from the likes of HSBC, Green Room and Aroq have all recently joined the LFB team of volunteers, while local independents have also come up with creative ways to make a difference. Shepherds Barbers has attended to give free haircuts to those on the streets, while Boston Tea Party Edgbaston is donating 10p from every cup of coffee sold to LFB. Wayland’s Yard has also chosen to support LFB with its Pay It Forward wall, where customers can buy extra food and drink to be donated to those living on the streets.
Tara Tomes, one of the founders and trustees of Let’s Feed Brum, has been overwhelmed by the support:
“The response from Birmingham has been staggering and we couldn’t be more grateful for everyone that has reached out to us. With the harsh winter now here, the next few months are going to be some of the toughest our friends on the streets have ever faced. These donations will go a little way to helping alleviate some of that struggle and, for some, will make a critical difference. For that, we cannot thank Birmingham enough.”
Christmas has already come early for Let’s Feed Brum, with the first of two Christmas parties taking place this weekend at Saint Luke’s Gas Street. With over 120 volunteers on hand to make it feel magical, over 250 guests are expected to be in attendance, enjoying a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.
Next weekend will see the celebrations continue with a second party, this time held at Birmingham Cathedral. This annual tradition, which is run in collaboration with LoveBrum, is being sponsored by Gymshark and thestudio. The occasion is expected to attract around 300 guests and give them a Christmas to remember; with the distribution of essential supplies via LoveBrum’s Bag for Brummies campaign, a hot dinner, and festive favourites, like crackers and Christmas cards.
These celebrations are the icing on the Christmas cake following another successful 12 months for LFB. In addition to becoming a registered charity back in May, the volunteer-led organisation has welcomed donations from far and wide, including WrapUp Brum, Norfolk House Nursery, Basement Project Bromsgrove and Edgbaston Cricket School, No 5 Chambers, Mars, Aston University, and Pinsent Masons. The charity has also received festive funding from the likes of The Fine & Country Foundation, Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office and St Anthony’s Primary School. It also continues to work alongside organisations like Tabor House, Birmingham’s only permanent night shelter, the Geoff Horsfield Foundation, and Christmas at the Cathedral.
“Birmingham has shown that it is a city that keeps on giving and, with the city’s backing, we are looking forward to continuing to make a difference for those that are on our streets in the year to come. To everyone that reached out this year, we want to thank you – we couldn’t have done it without you! The support that we continue to receive is helping us really make a difference; the food is a means to an end, Let’s Feed Brum is all about building the trust of our friends on the streets to help signpost existing services that can help get them back on our feet. In addition to our existing volunteers and street mentors, we’re planning some big things for 2019 that will see our support for Birmingham’s homeless have even more of an impact,” Tara concluded.
To find out more about how you can contribute to Let’s Feed Brum, visit: www.letsfeedbrum.com.