What do we do?
The Storehouse day centre provides support, food, clothing and inspiration to those in need in the local Southend community.
We give out free tea, coffee, breakfasts, lunches, food bags, clothes and signpost people to relevant services that work within the Storehouse during opening times. We also provide various courses and support groups to help build confidence to those looking for work and those looking to change their lives.
Why we do it?
We aim to help and support a range of people within our community. As a church we want to follow in Jesus’s footsteps.
In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus says,
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me.” Matthew 25, 35 – 36 …and we are just trying to follow in his footsteps.
The Storehouse ministry, an arm of Southend Vineyard, started over 14 years ago. Tins of food were brought in by members of the church and distributed to those in need on a Sunday morning. The ministry quickly developed into a 3 day a week drop in centre where teas coffee and breakfasts and food bags where given out from our Church premises. In 2007 a full time member of staff was employed to further develop the ministry.
After negotiating with the Council, Coleman Street Community Centre has become the Storehouse’s new home; a ten-year lease of the building has been agreed. Extensive building works has put the centre back into a fully functioning community centre after 3 years of disuse. The centre sits at the foot of three large tower blocks which house in the region of 1500 people.
Vision & Growth
The Storehouse has grown significantly since our move in January 2009 with many other agencies also now contributing to the work we do. The Storehouse along with partners deliver creative writing classes, a garden project, Starting points courses and the most recent is the Restore project.
There are many new events and programs in the pipeline for the future. Food distribution has more than trebled. We started with 250 registered users in 2008 increased to 800 to now in 2013 having over 5000 registered service users currently on the books, on average 700 food bags are given out every week by a growing team of volunteers many of whom come from within the client base. Due to the recent benefit cuts numbers are increasing rapidly.
As the demand for more food came so did many generous contributions. Sainsburys Southend donates food 3 days a week and Ocado the online grocery retailer also provide large quantities of food. Further similar relationships are still being developed to support this increasing need.
It is our heart to utilise the Community centre reaching out to every age and people group providing them with an opportunity to develop skills, friendships and relationships.