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University provides base for homeless volunteer group

Posted on 3 November 2021

The University of York has come to the aid of a homeless volunteer group and offered it a space to continue operating from.

Hoping Street Kitchen York volunteersThe volunteers will operate from the University's King's Manor site. Credit: HOPING Street Kitchen York

HOPING Street Kitchen offers hot, nourishing food and essentials to the homeless community in York, in addition to emotional and wellbeing support.

The group, which previously set up in Kings Square, was told it was no longer able to access the area with vehicles during its usual opening hours due to changes in footstreet restrictions.

When the group appealed to local institutions for support in the local press, the University of York quickly responded by offering space at its historic King’s Manor for the group to operate from. The University’s estates and hospitality teams also assisted, by advising the group on aspects of food hygiene, and the general health and safety of their operation.

HOPING Street Kitchen was awarded a food hygiene rating of five stars on March 1 2022, at an inspection carried out by City of York Council.


Helen Meadows, coordinator of HOPING York, said: “We'd like to thank the University of York for stepping in to help us help the city's homeless.

“The King's Manor site allows us to provide nourishing hot meals every Sunday evening to people living on the streets, in temporary accommodation, sofa-surfing, and those many on the brink of homelessness.

“More than food, we offer community – a safe place to enjoy friendship, emotional and practical support and be signposted to other services.  Homelessness remains a growing problem, with hidden homelessness a major concern, so it's vital we are out there, visible to the invisible.

“We can't thank the University team enough for their super-efficient and warm support. We feel very much at home here and believe our homeless friends, dining in such a beautiful setting, will feel truly valued.”

Vital work

The University of York’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charlie Jeffery, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with HOPING Street Kitchen by providing them with a space to continue their vital work supporting the city’s homeless community.

“The University of York was founded with a strong social purpose, and we continue to seek collaborations that bring communities together. This latest partnership underlines our commitment to being a University for Public Good.”

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