44 people sat down to enjoy a Christmas dinner at Broad Street's Welcome Space just before Christmas with another 26 sitting down to a hot meal on New Year's Day.
The Warm Space at Broad Street began in autumn 2022 offering a warm space and light refreshments however by Spring of 2023 the numbers had increased and the need was clearly there for the service to stay open beyond the winter. It was decided to offer a hot meal and attendance is now around 30 people per week peaking at 44 for the Christmas lunch. It became obvious that it wasn't just physical warmth that people needed but food and company. So the Warm Space became "Welcome Space" and carried on throughout the summer with no reduction in attendees.
Spalding is the centre of the food industry and this can be very low paid; it creates hardship for many. There is also an increasing number of people becoming homeless. Another discovery was the level of loneliness across all age groups and how much they welcomed company.
The Welcome Space is open every Monday from 11am until 3pm. As well as the hot meal, snacks and drinks are available and reading material such as newspapers, books and magazines are available along with various games. At the Christmas lunch each person went home with a gift.
The Welcome Space is run by volunteers who are both church members and from the local community and work on a two hour shift basis to share the load.
Welcome Space is now a permanent part of the mission in Spalding and is looked upon as a long term commitment.
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