Bolton Community Kitchen

Bolton, Lancashire

Your story

A dedicated, hardworking caring team of volunteers who give up time from their family and friends to feed, clothe and offer support to the homeless and vulnerable people of Bolton. Our Vision is to help and support the homeless and vulnerable. Our mission is to help try to get people off the streets and become self-sufficient.

Group introduction

Bolton Community Kitchen is a non-profitable organisation which provides a hot 3 course healthy and nutritious meal to the homeless and vulnerable people of Bolton, along with packed lunches, specially prepared for people who are sleeping rough. It’s a friendly environment where people come along to keep warm for a few hours and have a chat. Clothing, sleeping bags, rucksacks, toiletries and other items that may be useful is also available and handed out every week. Gareth Bradbury is the organiser who dedicates a huge amount of time to Bolton Community Kitchen (BCK); not only does he prepare all the meals from scratch along with his partner, Tracey McNulty, he also collects donations, i.e clothes and food, from people all over Bolton and afar. The team do fund raising events such as bag packing, BBQ’s and car boot sales to raise money in order to keep the kitchen running. The team regularly go on the streets of Bolton delivering food and refreshments to people who are living rough. There’s a dedicated team of volunteers who all work together to help make this possible but there’s too many to mention individually. Back in October 2015 the BCK had to leave their premises and had nowhere to go, but Gareth and the team could not let the vulnerable people of Bolton down and set up the kitchen from the back of a van in a car park despite the weather. Hot food and drinks continued to be served until a few months later the Salvation Army allowed BCK the use of their kitchen.
I have been volunteering since October 2015 and I absolutely love going and helping out those who are less fortunate than myself.
BCK welcomes anyone who is homeless and sleeping rough, along with people who are vulnerable and needy. Some people do have accommodation but have fallen upon hard times and find it difficult to keep a roof over their heads and feed/clothe themselves at the same time. BCK is a friendly place to go and welcomes anyone who needs food or just a friendly ear and a warm drink.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

This funding would help secure a welcoming service for the homeless and vulnerable people to meet. Around 45-50 homeless and vulnerable people use BCK just on a Monday night alone, not to mention other people who benefit from the team that go out on the streets offering refreshments. The money would be used for the maintenance of a van which is used to collect donations. Equipment such as pans and cooking utensils could be purchased. The funding would help BCK maintain a long term collection method and also help create promotion and awareness. The cost on average to feed around 45 people for one 3 course meal is £50, therefore fundraising and donations are heavily relied upon. BCK solely rely on donations from the general public and fundraising from their dedicated group of volunteers. This money will help Bolton Community Kitchen immensely. It will help to build solid foundations that we can keep building upon, so that BCK goes from strength to strength, spread the word and continue to offer the homeless and vulnerable people of Bolton continuing support.

"Gareth Bradbury, volunteer and organiser, is a selfless man who dedicates all his spare time and energy to help the homeless and vulnerable people of Bolton. Gareth suffers from ill health and never complains."

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