Mansfield soup kitchen struggles to feed homeless after roof leak

Staff at Mansfield's soup kitchen say they are struggling to feed the town's homeless after the building was waterlogged following this week's torrential rain.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 10:05 am
Rhonda Buckland

Volunteers came into the soup kitchen and charity shop, on Church Street, on Tuesday (June 11), to find that the overnight downpour had led to a huge leak in the roof. The leak damaged the shop's stock of jigsaws, books, and clothes, which is sold to raise money for the soup kitchen to feed Mansfield's homeless population every Wednesday. Rhonda Buckland, the soup kitchen's co-coordinator, said: "It was like a waterfall, you might as well have stood outside. "I had my coat on and hood up, and Sara had a poncho on, trying to save books. "We've lost a shelf of books, and lots of games and jigsaws.""We work tirelessly to collect stock, and we can't just replace it by buying new things. "It will take a while to recoup, as we had a lovely collection of jigsaws, but it's only weather - you can't cry about it."We put buckets out to collect the water when it was just dripping, but it was cascading out."The roof wasn't in the best health, and the front will have to be replaced. Board has been put down and tarpaulin to cover, but rain will find its way in.""It will cost around £15,000 to replace, and we are waiting to speak to our landlord."As well as their charity stock being lost, the kitchen couldn't open to feed the homeless on Wednesday. Rhonda and colleague Sara Spalding managed to put some pack-ups together, rather than the usual hot food they serve, and have been managing with a gas heater, which is expensive to run, Rhonda said.The kitchen was assisted by Mansfield BID to help them find temporary storage for stock.

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Rhonda Buckland