Soul Kitchen Chester
Helping people get back on their feet through food and friendship.
"I want to say thank you...
“To you and all others who put their time in to help all that need it like myself. You all go out your ways to feed us, put clothes on our back and any other help you can offer, it’s really helpfull and I for sure am grateful to you all so thank you.”
"Don't worry your not getting rid of me that fast, just because I live in Winsford.
“I remember when soul kitchen started at the magic round about. You and the gang will always be in my thoughts and prayers.”
"I'm blown away yet again.
“The telly is amazing as is the microwave. My kitchen is now equipped thanks to you. I’m watching star trek on my own home cinema and my pals have just left after bringing me reduced custard doughnuts (one of my all time favourites).”
About Soul Kitchen
We are a group of volunteers who provide food and support to anyone experiencing loneliness, food poverty or homelessness.
The Soul Kitchen Story
Back in 2015, a group of friends were feeling increasingly sad and frustrated walking past what seemed like an ever growing number of people sleeping rough on the streets of Chester. They had started chatting to some of the people they walked past and desperately wanted to do more to help.
Sick of walking by and feeling helpless, they set up some tables on the Hoole Way roundabout (aka the magic roundabout!) and each brought a dish of hot food to share with people who needed it. Word soon spread and before long they were drawing a regular crowd.
More volunteers joined and more people came along for food – whatever the weather! The set-up became more sophisticated with hot plates, soup, stews and various sweet and savoury bakes. The highlight was a full Christmas dinner with turkey and all the trimmings, complete with fairy lights.
After a couple of years, the need for food and friendship greater than ever, the opportunity to move indoors to Campbell Hall in Boughton came up. As well as an escape from the elements it came complete with a kitchen, pool table, toilets, shower and even a garden for BBQs in the summer.
Soul Kitchen is proud to be part of Outside In, a partnership of voluntary, community and faith sector organisations, local businesses, CH1 BID, education institutions, health organisations, forfutures, the council and the police; working together to help people facing homelessness and marginalisation in Chester.
Building up relationships and trust through sharing meals in a welcoming, non-judgmental environment
Offering activities to improve peoples mental and physical health, and to offer a distraction from negative influences and boredom in their lives and on the streets.
Advocacy to help people with often chaotic lifestyles, working with them and on their behalf to attend appointments and get professional support in place.
Supporting people moving off the streets into their own properties and getting them the furniture they need to get started.
What We Do
We cook food, run activities and offer a listening ear to find out what people need to move forward with their lives.
Based in the city of Chester, we work with partners across Cheshire to help people access a range of services including housing, mental health, addiction recovery, financial support, employment and legal assistance.
We offer a number of support services –
A ‘drop in’ provision every Saturday evening at Campbell Hall, Boughton to provide hot food and drinks, clothing, shower facilities and most importantly support and conversation to those that are homeless or struggling in Chester. We also offer arts and craft activities during the drop in, known as ‘Art & Soul’ sessions.
We run weekly football training sessions on a Wednesday at GOALS in Chester ‘Soul Survivors’ and this is followed by a sandwich lunch and a chat. The team also play in tournaments in the Liverpool Homeless League and local friendly matches. This activity not only builds fitness, but improves mental health and encourages people to work together as part of a team.
We run weekly communal cookery sessions, ‘Soul in a Bowl’. These sessions are all about building self-esteem, learning budgeting skills, having fun and enjoying a communal meal afterwards.
During the summer months, we also run a weekly walking group, Offset, encouraging people to embrace nature and get away from the negative influences of the city.
Partnership working is at the heart of everything we do. We know that by working together we are stronger and can do more for the people who need it most.
Voluntary & public sector
As well as being part of Outside In, we work with the Crossroads Community Hub – providing food parcels and support to those in need in the local community – and other support organisations like Kidsbank and The Welcome Network.
We have built support links with a number of local churches including Vineyard 53, Northgate Church, Hoole Baptist Church, Upton United Reformed Church and All Saints in Hoole.
We have had tremendous support from a number of local restaurants and we continue to maintain strong relationships with Meltdown Cafe in Handbridge who operate a pay it forward scheme to support us, Weston Grove Fish & Chips who support and sponsor our homeless football team, alongside other restaurants like Sticky Walnut who are still cooking for us.
We have support from local businesses (some of whom wish to remain anonymous), Tesco, the Countess of Chester Country Park and a number of individuals who regularly support us with donations, both food and financial.
Support Soul Kitchen
We don’t have any paid staff and rely on the support of our dedicated team of volunteers to run activities, fundraise and help with administration. If you have some time and talent to spare, we’d love to hear from you.
If you’re an organisation that can help improve the lives of people experiencing marginalisation in Cheshire West and Chester, get in touch and let’s see if we can work together to make a bigger impact.
Updates from our team.
Soul Kitchen are thrilled to announce that one of our volunteers and Co-Ordinators, Helen Anthony has been awarded an MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours List. Helen has been an integral part of Soul Kitchen for the past 5 years and we would all agree that she goes...
With the coronavirus restrictions continuing to affect all of us, our usual Christmas sit down dinner unfortunately wasn't an option this year. So we did what we could to ensure that the occasion was still special for those that are homeless. We prepared gift packs...
With the end of 2020 in sight it is time to reflect on this rollercoaster of a year. Covid has meant we've all had to adjust to new ways of doing things. Through it all we've been totally overwhelmed with the incredible amount of support and good will from our...