Homeless non-profit charity Doorways Derby has recently been awarded a £10,000 grant from the Morrisons Foundation. They were advised to go for this award from the Belper branch’s current community champion. The money from the award is going to be put towards a new van so the charity can keep providing meals in their pop up street kitchen stall and transporting other essentials to their homeless visitors. Doorways eventual aim is to have access to a larger premises where they can store and cook more food.
The charity was co-founded by Craig and Lisa Wheatley back in May 2015. Their aim was to help the homeless people in Derby by providing them with hot meals, sandwich packs and drinks. At the time they started Doorways with a few friends and family members, they had 15 visitors each night. Over the years and with the backing of several businesses, volunteers and donations; today they are able to support over a 100 visitors per night three times a week.
A Doorways Derby volunteer cook said: ‘I volunteer because I can see that my time and my food donations go directly to those who need it. No one gets paid or a percentage of anything donated before it reaches those for whom it is intended.’
Over the years, Doorways Derby has not only helped inspire the vulnerable but they have also helped their own volunteers to reach their potential too. Volunteer Vikki Belle-Quinn explained: ‘I started volunteering a year ago after seeing a post about the shoe boxes we do at Christmas. I love the work that Doorways does to help support people to have the basic necessities. It has also helped me realise what I want to do after plodding along from job to job. Now I am at uni studying health and social care to go on to work with the homeless and mentally ill.’
During the festive season, Doorways always provides a Christmas meal night for their visitors that includes a full Christmas dinner and pudding along with a present. This year they are doing the shoebox appeal but ask that instead of a box, donations be put into a strong or reusable bag so that it is more suitable for their visitors to take away with them.
At the moment the most needed items that Doorways are asking for are sleeping bags, toiletries, gloves, hats and scarves. If anyone would like to donate any of their time, items or anything of monetary value, they can message the charity through their page Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DoorwaysDerby/ or call on 07754128763 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org