More volunteers needed at Ilford homeless drop in centre

Sensational sandwich makers or anyone wanting to give some time to others should get involved at the homeless drop in centre held on Sunday afternoons.

St Peter and Paul Catholic Church, High Road, Ilford hold the sessions each week which includes providing a meal and refreshments for anyone in difficult circumstances.

Volunteers have been running the service in the church hall for the past 21 years but need to bolster their ranks with some new recruits.

Vince Wogan, 65, was one of the founders of the service and has been volunteering since the drop in sessions began.

He said: “Homelessness is now less obvious. There are still people sleeping in the streets but some find somewhere like a derelict house.

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“The problem has not gone away and the changes in housing regulations mean the problems will get much worse.”

He said more people were using the service since it started but recently the number of volunteers had declined.

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Mr Wogan added: “We used to have 30 volunteers but people’s circumstances change and they move on. It would be good to have more people so the volunteers don’t have to work so often.”

Each Sunday volunteers meet at 1pm to get sandwiches and soup ready and set up the hall. Doors are then open from 1.30-4pm.

Mr Wogan helped set up the drop in centre as he wanted to do something to help those in need.

“There was much more obvious homelessness,” he said. “We didn’t feel we could deal with all the problems of homelessness but that did not mean we would do nothing. We wanted to do what we could.”

He said more people now use the service than when it was set up.

“We used to get 15-20 people, now it’s between 30-40. It’s a very positive experience, they are very grateful,” he added.

Anyone interested in volunteering at the drop in centre should just go along to the church on any Sunday at 1pm.

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