Southsea charity says The News' campaign makes 'such a difference' to vulnerable people in the city

‘This campaign makes such a difference.’

Friday, 6th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 6:15 am
Mike Morell, manager and chair of trustees and Kelly Paine, catering volunteer at The Lifehouse, in Southsea. Picture: Sarah Standing (051219-2943)

Those were the words of the manager of The LifeHouse – the Southsea-based charity who welcomes a wide variety of people and offers comfort and a freshly-cooked meal.

The LifeHouse, in Albert Road, is one of the eleven charities benefiting from The News’ Comfort and Joy Campaign and will receive a share of £5 vouchers to share at Christmas.

Manager Mike Morell said: ‘We try to give homeless people or recovering addicts generosity and love while treating them as a real person and allowing them to be in a normal, social environment.’

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The charity is open on a Wednesday and Thursday each week and provides individuals with hot food, drinks, clothes and also offers counselling and accessibility to short courses. It will also open its doors on Christmas Day and Boxing Day this year.

The LifeHouse has been part of the Comfort and Joy campaign for several years and Mike says it really helps the people he works with.

Mike, 63, says: ‘I think the campaign is a fabulous thing to contribute to. It’s very accessible for everyone to donate.

‘The good thing about vouchers is that it ensures that it’s spent on something worthwhile. If you gave someone money on the street, they could potentially blow it and set themselves back.

‘We’ve had people come in here with tears streaming down their face, being three or four months sober, and they’ve spent money on the wrong thing.

‘It’s the gift of something personal without putting them in danger of doing something rash.’

Nikki Velenia, 37, from Southsea, is one of the many volunteers who helps prepare, cook and serve the food and drinks at The LifeHouse.

‘My friend came here three or four years ago and then I started volunteering regularly,’ she says.

‘It puts a smile on my face when I volunteer here – it’s good to know I am giving back to the community.’

The LifeHouse is sponsored by many local business, including Larcomes Legal Limited in North End, Twells Butchers in Portchester and The Tenth Hole in Southsea.

To learn more about how a £5 Comfort and Joy donation could change a life, read case studies at portsmouth.co.uk.