OXFORD CITY'S homeless and 'poorly housed' are encouraged to visit The Gatehouse, a café open six evenings a week from 17:00-19:00 Mondays to Fridays and 15:00-17:00 on Sundays. Gatehouse is housed in St Giles parish rooms, 10 Woodstock Road. Here visitors get free, warming food, shelter for a couple of hours, and companionship.
The food on offer through the winter months from November to the end of March includes soup which has been made, frozen and supplied by people of many faiths and non-religious organisations. Eynsham shoulders the responsibility of delivering some 40 litres - one week's needs - of frozen, homemade soup, this year for January 16-22. The soup run complements the sandwiches and cakes already supplied on a regular basis by Gatehouse Volunteers.
The soup (using the maker's favourite recipe) must be made from nourishing fresh ingredients which are carefully listed (just because you are homeless doesn't mean you are immune from allergies), taste utterly scrumptious, be thick enough for the café's volunteer helpers to dilute if necessary and, for practical reasons, be of a smooth consistency suitable for serving in a plastic cup. Some 365 people a week visit the café and 46% are rough sleepers, so the soup will be well used and much needed.
We each freeze our 2-litres of home-produced soup in plastic-bag lined containers so that it can all be easily collected, delivered and stored, brick shaped, in Gatehouse's freezer. Our 2017 soups will be immediately put to use, thawed and served in the week for which we are responsible. This will be collected on the morning of January 16 and taken straight to Woodstock Road.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE PART of this or even help deliver on Monday 16 January, contact Margherita Pierini - 01865 880923 or email firstname.lastname@example.org - the contact details for regular visits are unchanged.