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The Work Never Stops! Rupa's Christmas with the Ealing Soup Kitchen

No one should be alone at Christmas

Christmas is a day which many of us spend with the family, where we languish in the throes of a food induced coma because we tried to convince ourselves that eating a dozen mince pies and cheese after Christmas dinner was a good idea. Of course we then top this off with the obligatory game of Monopoly- which always goes on for far too long!- and which of course would not be complete without that one family member who takes it all a bit too seriously…

However, this is not how Christmas day is for everyone.

Over the years we have become accustomed to seeing the growth in rough sleeping on our streets and across the capital. It has become a grim and yet normalised reality to see people queuing outside food banks, with those queues symbolising everything that is wrong with today’s Tory run Britain. But for the past 40 years, through both the good times and the bad, Ealing Soup Kitchen has been at the forefront of providing a warm and safe place to go to on Christmas day for those with nowhere to go, or no one to share Christmas with.

Since 1974 when it as first founded, and where initially it served food out of the back of a van to a small number of service users, Ealing Soup Kitchen now regularly finds itself cooking for up to 90 people on Saturdays and Sundays, and this Christmas was no exception.  Joined by Rupa and Nitin Ganatra- also known to many of you as EastEnders’s very own Masood! - Ealing Soup Kitchen turned St Johns Church into a roaring hub of Christmas festivities.

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Rupa swapped the dispatch box for table service and pot washing, whilst Nitin mucked in with drying the dishes and the amazing volunteers of Ealing Green Baptist Church led by Julian and Chef Herman kept the Christmas dinners- with all the trimmings!- coming until 9pm!

Rupa had the following to say about the day’s events:

“It was fun to be part of Julian’s amazing team and feed dozens throughout the afternoon. Christmas day is a day that no person should be alone for and we served some familiar faces known to be from doing my weekly advice surgeries in Ealing and Acton. Sadly given the government’s ever more punitive tax and benefit policies it seems that my surgery queues and those using excellent services that our churches provide such at Ealing Soup Kitchen, Ealing Foodbank and Ealing Churches Winter Night Shelter will continue to be ever-lengthening. There is a sense that it’s all well and good to volunteer on Christmas Day but services like this need our help all year round, not just for Christmas!”

If you wish to be a part of this great organisation and to do your bit in helping the most vulnerable residents of Ealing and Acton then you can donate to Ealing Soup Kitchen here:

http://www.ealingsoupkitchen.org/get-involved-.html

Alternatively if you would like to donate your time the Soup Kitchen is always looking for volunteers to help out with their Homeless Drop in Centre held every Friday at St Johns Crypt. Unwanted but wearable clothes are also welcome donations.

If you would like to know any more about the services offered by Ealing Soup Kitchen then please see here:

http://www.ealingsoupkitchen.org/

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Dr Rupa Huq , Ealing Central and Acton

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