A letter from our CEO as we reopen our doors…

Our CEO, Ali Kingsley, reaches out to all our wonderful supporters as we plan to reopen our doors after a long and challenging 18 months.

To all our wonderful supporters,

After a year that has brought many challenges, but also so many successes and achievements, we are now looking forward to making our largest step – the reopening of the centre and return to all the in-house services that we offered before the pandemic.

Throughout the last 18 months, from the day after the first lockdown began, we have continued to provide a 3-course meal served takeaway or delivery. We have averaged 150 meals per day, but at the height of the lockdown, last summer, we were providing over 800 meals per day, 7 days a week. We also managed to reach out to and support more than double the number of people we did pre-pandemic through our remote mental health support service.

I want to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank the many people who made all of this possible. Those that have volunteered their time, donated supplies, donated money and supported us throughout. The support we have received truly is one of the bright spots in what has been a dark year for many.

From 4th October we take on our next, perhaps biggest, challenge. We begin our indoor service again, serving a restaurant quality, 3-course meal at the table to the most vulnerable and isolated in our community. The number attending daily has not decreased. Our capacity for seated meals is 70. Therefore, we are going to run a full-capacity indoor service alongside a takeaway service for those that either cannot, or prefer not to, access the indoor service.

To make this happen we need your help more than ever; we need to mobilise and engage the massive support we know that we have. We have never had so many volunteer roles to fill every day, whether that is joining or creating a team of 4 or 5 to deliver the table service, joining the takeaway packing team or joining or providing a kitchen team to create the meals – we need you! These extra roles are in addition to the complementary therapies we offer via volunteer therapists; the IT skills we teach with volunteer tutors; art classes run by volunteer artists or one of the many ever-changing volunteer-led activities and projects that we offer.

Volunteer sessions can fit into your day; just a contribution of a few hours as often as you are willing or able to do. With enough people doing what they can, we will be able to deliver this upscaling of our services that we know is possible.

We are always delighted to welcome new people to the Refettorio Felix and St Cuthbert’s Centre family, so please do pass this message on to everyone you know. Our passion is immeasurable, our volunteer community vital and building new relationships wonderful.

If you would like to help, please email volunteers@stcuthbertscentre.org.uk or call 020 78351389.

Thank you so much for your support both now and in the future and I really look forward to seeing you in the Centre soon!

Best wishes
Ali Kingsley
Chief Executive

Our passion is immeasurable, our volunteer community vital and building new relationships wonderful.

Ali Kingsley Chief Executive of Refettorio Felix