A foodbank collection is running at Nesfield Lodge Care Home in Leeds this month, with members of the public encouraged to drop off donations that will support those in need locally as the cold winter months set in.
Nesfield Lodge is part of Orchard Care Homes, a leading care provider across the north of England. Tania Holness joined the care home in March 2023 as a Home Administrator and for the past four years, has also volunteered her spare time at Leeds Homeless Street Aid – a charity dedicated to feeding those who are homeless across the region.
In support of Tania and the local community in Leeds, staff, residents, families and friends at the care home have been providing food item donations for the past two weeks. Now the home is inviting members of the public to add to its collection and help ensure that homeless people can get warm meals throughout the festive period.
Leeds Homeless Street Aid previously provided hot meals and drinks on the streets of Leeds during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, until Leeds City Council was able to provide use of St Annes Resource Centre, to ensure people can now sit down out of the cold twice per week and get a warm cooked meal. The charity and its volunteers provide hot food every Monday and Thursday, ranging from stews and hotpots to burgers, pizzas and puddings. Over 200 homeless people from Leeds typically attend each week. As well as providing a warm meal, the charity aims to ensure every visitor can take a sandwich as a packed lunch and has toiletries for the next day, as well as other seasonal essentials, such as socks, gloves, hats and sleeping bags.
Leeds Homeless Street Aid relies on public generosity and all of the food provided to those in need comes from donations or from the volunteers themselves. Tania said, “We appreciate any food items that people can spare, as we make meals rather than handing food items out where possible, to make sure people get something hot to eat. It’s a collective team effort from the volunteers, visiting businesses and schools to collect whatever can be spared. You never know what items you will have from one week to the next.
The support of my employer has been invaluable and I am so proud that the caring ethos shown within the home is being extended to the community in this way. Everybody at Orchard Care Homes has encouraged my charity work, ever since I began my role. When I applied for the job, I explained at the interview what I do in my spare time and my manager offered me tweaked hours so that I could keep volunteering from day one. It’s been amazing how my colleagues, residents and their families continue to contribute to this cause and I am so grateful for all the help, understanding and support.”
Orchard Care Homes is a leading care provider across the north of England and last year launched its Dementia Promise, a new initiative which aims to be a catalyst for a shift in attitudes towards dementia care across the UK. The group, which has twenty-three care homes, is committed to challenging the negativity inequalities often experienced by people living with dementia. Earlier this year, Orchard Care Homes revealed it had achieved a 5-star food rating at every home across its portfolio.
If you would like to donate food items to Leeds Homeless Street Aid, please visit Nesfield Lodge Care Home and ask for Tania Monday to Friday between 12 noon and 4:00 pm. Alternatively, you can drop your donations directly to St Anne’s Resource Centre, 66 York Street, Leeds, on Mondays from 6:00 p.m. or on Thursdays from 4:30 p.m.
If you are in need of help, please find more information about attending St Anne’s on the dedicated Leeds Homeless Street Aid facebook page.