VOLUNTEERS at a community cafe in Redditch are getting set to provide warmth and support to even more people in need this winter.
The team at Radiate Redditch have been helping the homeless around Redditch for the past seven years by providing them with shelter and support, especially at Christmastime – but the scheme doesn’t stop there.
In 2017, the project saw the number of homeless people needing support over the Christmas and New Year period almost double and Ben Rafiqi, manager at Radiate, has some concerns over what this might mean on a wider scale.
“This is by far the busiest year we’ve ever had,” he said. “The need seems to be greater than ever – and it is a concern to see the number of people on the streets growing.”
The festive day centre welcomed between 40 and 50 people for Christmas 2017, compared to between 25 and 30 in previous years.
The work with the community is set to continue with the Radiate Community Cafe, which will be held on the second Monday of every month at the Ecumenical Centre.
Open to rough sleepers, the homeless, the isolated and anyone who wishes to come and enjoy a hot meal, the cafe will be open at 6pm, until 7.15pm on February 12, March 12, April 9, and so on towards to spring and summer.
“The aim is to continue to foster those relationships and help people through their problems, linking them up with organisations and services to help them move on,” said Ben.
“Our humble project is but a small scale and short-term response to an increasingly widespread challenge.”
Anyone wishing to get involved and volunteer can visit Radiate Redditch on Facebo