The group started initially for a small stint over the Summer to help a project in Bristol that my family were going to. A project run by volunteers out of car boots, offering sandwich packs, hot food & drinks, clothing/toiletries & support. With around 180-200 guests that specific night in July and 40-60 sandwich packs to watch hunger so rife and visible was pretty gut wrenching. In Bristol summer centres close often for staff holidays & deep cleaning so many find themselves not eating for 3-4 days. In a modern society not what you expect. So as a result of a plea on my Facebook wall amongst my friends word spread to their friends and their friends and beyond … whoosh Street Life Sarnies evolved.
So the next 7 weeks of the Summer our people carrier was full to the brim weekly with 180-200 sandwich packs, food stuffs, toiletries & clothing. Since then we have grown as a community group to over 2000 members and set a hub up (Facebook group ) in Bristol run by John Berry that provides resources to the project Street Life. They predominately support this project but they also collect for the Easter Egg and Christmas appeals we run and make sandwiches 1st 2nd and 3rd Saturday per month. We then collect sandwiches in Chepstow & Magor the 4th Saturday of the month so combined SLS provide around 8500 -9000 sandwich packs a year. These are provided by volunteers in the community who pledge to make 10-20 packs for a specific date then drop to a house at a certain time and another volunteer then go-ordinates and delivers to the project. Each pack contains a sandwich, fruit, snack bar and crisps. We also collect drinks, homemade cakes etc.
We now support homeless outreach, charities & night shelters in Newport, Cardiff & Merthyr. We collect preloved vgc clothing, toiletries, foodstuffs, camping resources all year round and with a spider web of volunteers across Chepstow Portskewett Caldicot Magor Undy Newport Abergavenny Brynmawr as examples we sort and label and distribute where help is needed. Any funds received go directly on new resources and often sent directly from Amazon or the sleeping bag company. We are all working volunteers so juggle helping/coordinating around busy lives. There are no outgoings, every penny goes on those we help. Any unsuitable clothing such as over sized, out of season gets us funds to purchase resources via cash for clothes.
We help Wallich rough sleeper intervention team in Newport, Edengate & the Salvation Army. We also provide 30-40 sandwich packs a month to Edengate for their Sunday Munchies food offering for the homeless & Vulnerably housed. In addition for Newport we help hostels regularly and link to businesses to reduce food waste. We help Solas Cymru, Llamau, Women’s Aid as examples. For Cardiff we help Wallich night a shelter and rough sleeper intervention team & HANR (Cardiff Council) , Midlands Sangar (street outreach charity that feed the homeless) , Salvation Army, 3 walkabout teams plus larger hostels such as Huggard at appeal times. We also help the Cardiff council family hostels across Cardiff plus Llamau as examples at appeal time.
We help Gwalia in Ebbw Vale, Merthyr Tydfill outreach and Gateway in Abergavenny plus Cyfannol WA in pontypool and Abergavenny and Solas Hostels across Monmouthshire. In addition to our usual activity we have also responded quickly to those getting back on their feet and furnishing homes when people often have nothing. The group is a spiderweb of volunteers all doing their best to make a difference by spreading the word, collecting items, helping with appeals and collections or fundraising.
This weekend Jack who is 10 is doing his 2nd sponsored Chepstow Stampede. All money raised is going to purchase new waterproof sleeping bags for Merthyr and Cardiff. He wants to beat the 30 he got last year.
we have just been shortlisted for the Pride of Britain awards for TSB as a finalist . In the last few years we have won a Halifax community award, Britain has Spirit award last September & Pride of Gwent award last Summer.