Celebrations as renovated Southsea soup kitchen re-opens
CELEBRATION was the order of the day at the re-opening of a soup kitchen after a refurbishment.
The LifeHouse in Southsea held a small gathering, with guests of honour including Portsmouth FC director Eric Eisner and leader of Portsmouth City Council Donna Jones.
It comes after the centre, which provides support and food to those in need, was renovated by local construction company PMC.
Manager Lesley Wenden said: ‘We are so grateful to PMC for renovating our centre for free and I know the residents are all thankful.’
The centre had new windows installed, the ground floor levelled and was re-decorated inside and out.
Lesley added: ‘The finished centre is absolutely amazing and PMC were so co-operative and worked around us.’
HR manager at PMC Kate Adams said: ‘The celebration was really lovely and it was great to see volunteers and users benefiting from our refurbishment.’
The construction company asked employees to nominate local charities which could be supported throughout the year.
Kate added: ‘The ground floor reconstruction was the first stage of our company helping The LifeHouse and we are also collecting clothes, money and hampers we receive at Christmas to donate to them.
‘It is a great charity that supports homeless people at a time when there seems to be more and more out there on the streets and offers services to the local community when they need it.’
The centre looks after between 35 and 55 people from as young as 18 up to 80 years old.
Leader of Portsmouth City Council Donna Jones said: ‘I was pleased to visit The LifeHouse and officially open the new refurbished building.
‘This is a great example of the community coming together to support vulnerable people.
‘The LifeHouse charity has many people who volunteer their time to help others.’
During the evening firefighters from Blue Watch at Southsea fire station cooked a Christmas dinner.
Lesley said: ‘The firefighters were so good and provided and served a lovely Christmas dinner to everyone.
‘But I also want to say a massive thank you to Bodrum’s Turkish restaurant who came to our rescue when the oven stopped working and deep fried our potatoes.
‘It was quite a sight watching firefighters run up and down the street with trays of hot potatoes.’