When Helpful Humans was formed in November 2015 we were concentrating on aid to the refugees in Calais and Dunkirk, but had already identified that there was important work to do in our local community too.
We continued to supply food, clothing, blankets, tents and sleeping bags to refugees in Northern France, Greece and some of the Greek Islands, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Macedonia but at the same time we were passing similar items’ as well as other bits and pieces like nappies and buggies to organisations such as Women’s Aid Wellingborough and East Northants. We also answered appeals from Home Start and the Victoria Centre.
Gradually the network of organisations that we work with built up, as well as those mentioned above we have forged partnerships with Care without Borders, Jungle Care, Christians for Calais and many more. Two out of our five founders had previously volunteered with the Daylight Centre, doing both kitchen and food bank work and one had experienced being homeless, so we thought it a good idea to begin helping rough sleepers and people living in food poverty closer to home.
On a warm Saturday evening in July 2016, four of us set up a table outside Poundland in Abington Street, Northampton, we fed over 20 people that night. Northant’s Street Angels said that for safety’s sake we should have at least six people in the team and most weeks we had a maximum of four so we enlisted Gray, a university lecturer, to help us recruit more volunteers. Now with more than 20 volunteers to call upon for the street team we have gone from strength to strength, sometimes feeding up to 60 people a week. We have new tables and serving equipment and now proudly display our logo and name badges so that passing people know who we are. We are very happy to support Northampton’s rough sleepers and other homeless people, not only that, we show them that they are not forgotten.
Helpful Humans have become a community group who help one another as well as others. Many of us did not know each other before volunteering but we are now a group of friends. No-one is in charge, each of us has an equal say and devotes as much or as little time as we wish.
Our financial resources are limited, some monetary donations have come in but a lot of the work is done with the goodwill and donations from the volunteers, these enable us to continue our work with homeless and displaced people and with those living on or below the breadline.
For more information about what we do or how you can help please contact us at www.helpfulhumans.eu or on our Facebook page, Helpful Humans East Midlands.
You can also phone me (Chris Clavey) on 07818 634939