We are delighted to be able to announce that Next Meal is now a registered charity.
It is extraordinary what Next Meal has been able to achieve over the past years: no formal structure, less money, but a wonderful facility in the website, massive momentum and enormous goodwill. All this and more has been created by everyone contributing to build something with the potential to achieve real change.
It’s wonderful that the Charity Commission, having looked really carefully at everything that Next Meal does and everything we plan to do, has decided that Next Meal really is working for the public benefit, helping some of the most vulnerable in our society.
Martin already has a great team behind Next Meal. He has gathered a board of enthusiastic trustees to lead Next Meal now that it’s a charity. Our determination is that from the amazing beginnings, Next Meal might become an ever-growing force for kindness and change.
Tell us about Plymouth Soup Run Plymouth soup run is a community and faith driven service providing free food and hot drinks to homeless, hungry and vulnerable people 365 days a year.
How long have you run the soup run? Over 10 years
What are the times and how often is it open? Seven nights a week! Usually 9:15pm to 10:15pm
What do you serve? Hot soup , sandwiches, fresh fruit and a treat!
How many do you feed? Up to 90 folk
How does nextmeal.co.uk affect you? The Police and community services have really seen it as an opportunity to engage with street homeless people and direct them to the homeless centres to receive help and support.
Here’s a little insight into something we did in Muswell Hill to raise funds.
We organised an event called “Sing for the Soupy”. The event took place on a Saturday afternoon and ran for around one hour.
We were very lucky to have opera singer and local celebrity Lesley Garrett take part and sing in our local church. We also had children from local schools participate. It was a really fun way to raise funds.
It involved the whole community and everyone had a wonderful time. It was really uplifting for the singers and the audience. Most importantly, we raised funds!
Launched in October 2017, www.nextmeal.co.uk is a website primarily designed for smartphones using GPS technology to link homeless people to food and support 24/7, across the UK and in some European cities. It reduces street homelessness by encouraging people to give Next Meal cards instead of money, helping to reduce begging.
Why was Next Meal created?
I voluntarily run a soup kitchen in Muswell Hill in north London, open five evenings a week. However, many of the guests we served asked us for information about other food centres in the area, their opening times and services. There wasn’t one central resource or an easy way to find this out, which is why we created www.nextmeal.co.uk.
How does Next Meal work?
We have 370 centres featured on the site – soup kitchens, day centres, night shelters with day service facilities, etc. and new centres are joining all the time.
Since our launch, we have had over 150,000 pageviews and Next Meal has been featured on BBC news, in The Big Issue and the Financial Times, as well as many local press and other media. Awareness is increasing all the time.
How can centres get involved?
By sharing ideas and best practices across centres we want to provide practical ideas and support to all those helping to fight homelessness. Our free membership scheme is open to all centres across regions and countries. To become a member click here