"I lived rough, by my wits, was homeless, lived on the streets, lived on friends' floors, was happy, was miserable." - Ben Okri
One Third Soup Kitchen were joined by special helpers tonight - a local youth group tonight as we geared up to serve homeless guests in Whitechapel.
We got there to find a jovial team of fifteen volunteers ready and waiting. After a quick briefing we set them off on their tasks. By now a queue of hungry visitors had built up and were raring to go.
The food line seemed to be endless. We had starters of tikka, samosas and onion bhajis. This was followed by a steady stream of chicken and meat biriani accompanied by water and soft drinks. To wrap it up we had cake and thanks to Dilwara, Krispy Kreme donuts galore. I was hoping to sneak a donut and piece of cake home but stood no chance as they were all long gone.
Whitechapel was buzzing and we exchanged pleasantries with locals, tourists, weekend revellers and worshippers from the East London Mosque.
Ramadan just adds to the magic and it was a festive atmosphere indeed. The youth group were a delight and a credit to their youth worker Amrana. They had been introduced to me by Sister Christine Frost MBE and it's amazing what Neighbours in Poplar and the St Matthias Community Centre are doing with the local kids. These people reflect the true face of Tower Hamlets.
The level of sheer charitable deeds carried out by people here is unmatched and I would challenge any other city or community in the world to prove me otherwise. That would be something.
After debriefing the youth expressed a desire to do it again. Tee and I took this as a sign that we had engaged well with them. We agreed to discuss further.
Tonight was a shining example of team work. After all, the difference between success and failure is a great team.
If you'd like to volunteer or provide food them please get in touch.