Businesses join forces to help rough sleepers in Coventry receive hot meals

Local businesses and individuals gave their time and services for free to install a kitchen for the Coventry charity.

Pictured from left: Bob Hall, Coventry Builder’s Charity; Sam Barker, Steps For Change; Leigh Naylor, Howdens; Karen Gannon, Salvation Army; Jimmy Concannon, Claddagh Electrica; Peter Deeley, Deeley Group.

A haven for rough sleepers in Coventry city centre has thanked a group of local businesses for their support in creating a new kitchen to help them serve hot meals.

Steps For Change moved to the City Arcade at the end of 2019 and opens five days a week, offering a range of ‘one-stop-shop’ support to people from assistance in accessing benefits and housing through to a place to go from a hot coffee.

The centre is a partnership between The ARC and Coventry Salvation Army, and were supported by local businesses and individuals who gave their time and services for free to install the kitchen after Coventry City Council released the premises to the organisation.

Coventry Builders Charity, which funded the project, Howdens, Andy Llewellyn, Claddagh Electrical, DB Heating and The Deeley Group, all played their part and representatives went along to the centre to see how their work is helping local rough sleepers.

Sam Barker, from Steps For Change, said: “The old kitchen wasn’t really fit for purpose. We wanted to be able to serve hot meals to people and that just wouldn’t have been possible.

“The support we have had has been amazing and we want to thank everyone who donated their efforts in making this happen. We couldn’t have done it without their help.

“We moved here towards the end of last year from Broadgate and we are now open five days a week and offer a range of support to people who are sleeping rough locally and, in some cases, that’s offering a cup of coffee or a hot meal.

“For others, we can help them to access all of the support they need when it comes to housing or benefits and we work with a range of other service providers to join everything up. 

“Having this fantastic, modern kitchen means we are able to offer hot food to people who come through our doors and that’s really important.”

Around 80 people use Steps For Change each week and the venue is always looking for donations of tea, coffee, sugar, biscuits and UHT milk.

Peter Deeley, managing director of the Deeley Group, brought together the businesses to supply and install the kitchen. 

He said: “It’s a great testament to everyone involved for coming together and supporting this fantastic community cause. The kitchen looks great and I’d like to extend my own personal thank you to everyone who contributed.”