Mansfield homeless charity launches appeal after their 'lifeline' van bites the dust

Members of a Mansfield charity which works with the homeless are appealing for help after their trusted old van bit the dust this week.

By Andy Done-Johnson
Friday, 3rd September 2021, 3:52 pm

Volunteers from the Mansfield Soup Kitchen (MSK) were out collecting in the vehicle, which the charity has owned for around three years, at the Tesco store in Alfreton, when the gearbox blew.

And they have now been told that it will cost as much to repair it as to buy a new van.

Charity spokesman Lizz Walters has now set up a GoFundMe page, calling on the goodwill of residents in Mansfield and Ashfield to get them back on the road to carry on with their good work.

The van being towed away

They are trying to raise a total of £2,000 – to add to the £500 which has already been donated to them by the King’s Mill Stroke and Physio Selling Site – to buy a new van.

Lizz, 32, from Pinxton, said she got involved with the charity through lockdown when her own venture – supplying free books to the elderly and vulnerable – got cash donations which she then donated to MSK.

She said: “It’s a real lifeline for us – aside from making collections and deliveries to our Mansfield base, we also use it when a homeless person moves into accommodation, to deliver furniture to them, and things like that.

"More people are struggling for money because of the pandemic, so their work’s been really needed because there’s been a lot more people needing food because they’ve lost their work.”

Volunteers feeding the homeless in Mansfield

Run by a small team of volunteers, the charity, based in Church Street, Mansfield, runs a weekly Wednesday evening session in Mansfield Market Place, where people can come for food, but also works to provide food, tents, toiletries, camping stoves and sleeping bags to those in need.

But it’s not the first time the charity has had to appeal for funding, after heavy rain brought down the roof in its store back in 2019, damaging stock such as books and jigsaws, and costing around £15,000 to repair.

To donate to help MSK to buy a replacement van, click here.

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