VIDEO: Soup kitchens are 'lifeline' for Mansfield homeless

Praise goes out to the kindness of strangers, who give their time most nights of the week to help the homeless

Soup kitchens in Mansfield are now an almost-daily occurrence.

Volunteers put food in the bellies of homeless peop eon the market

Volunteers put food in the bellies of homeless peop eon the market

Together with council services, charity support and housing associations they are now part of the fabric which protects the most in need. On Wednesday, some 40 people, most of whom are homeless and others who are struggling to live at home, came to pick up a hot meal, a cuppa, as well as some essentials to take away and keep them going for a few days.

But the soup kitchen provides so much more these days. They've grown to offer toiletries to give people the dignity of being able to look after their hygiene, as well as donated clothes - and most importantly now as more and more people are out on the streets for longer periods, tents for shelter, sleeping bags and cooking equipment.

The generosity of those who donate the goods is incredible. Without the odd tent being handed in, or sometimes a batch of clothes, as was recently given by Sports Direct employees, there would be nothing to keep people warm who face the elements every night.

But council help is making life easier. Nottinghashire County Council has recently provided a fund to pay for cooking equipment and even mobile phones. It's an important step in helping people get back into the system - it's impossible to organise your benefits to speak to support workers if you don't have a phone.

Food, clothes, toiletries, and even shelter are on offer to help people out.

Food, clothes, toiletries, and even shelter are on offer to help people out.

And this week the regular users at the Soup Kitchen were treated to something special. Thanks to a donation of 50 pizzas from The Rustic Crust and HS Presents, and a round of free coffee's from new local business, the Coffee Cube, the guys were able to put on something different.

"We always try to give them a bit of luxury," said Mansfield Soup Kitchen leader Sara Spalding.

If you can help provide food, clothes, shelter and any other essentials, contact Mansfield Soup Kitchen on 07771 333 198

Volunteers see around 40 people attend the foodbank each Wednesday  and numbers have steadily risen since it started last November.

Volunteers see around 40 people attend the foodbank each Wednesday and numbers have steadily risen since it started last November.