Royal Navy sailors from Portsmouth cook up a curry meal for dozens of homeless people

HOMELESS veterans were among those given a feast to remember when a kindhearted team of sailors offered to cook them a meal.

Monday, 18th March 2019, 3:16 pm
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 3:21 pm
The Royal Navy team pictured with the volunteers from the LifeHouse, in Southsea. Photo: Royal Navy

A team from Portsmouth Naval Base put on their chef’s aprons as they cooked a delicious two-course curry for needy people at the LifeHouse centre in Southsea.

The Albert Road-based hub, which supports homeless people and those with addiction issues, offers one breakfast and evening meal a week to feed between 20 and 40 people.

Commander Pete Vinney, who heads up the navy’s waterfront logistics support group, tasked his team to see what they could do to support the charitable effort.

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Sailors cooked up a curry for about 50 people.

After LifeHouse’s chairman of trustees Mike Morell, it was decided the squad of charitable sailors could offer a second weekday evening meal – an opportunity which the team relished.

Mr Morell was stunned the navy had considered the LifeHouse to help and said the team did an a superb job.

‘I was absolutely amazed by what they did, it bowled me over,' he said. 

'They made everyone feel so welcome. It was wonderful to see.’

The Senior Service cooks created a mouth-watering menu of lamb rogan josh with braised basmati rice, bombay aloo, onion bhaji’s and naan breads, feeding more than 50 people.

Among the team, Mr Morell said, were sailors who used to be based on HMS Queen Elizabeth – one of the navy’s new aircraft carriers.

Chief Petty Officer Duncan Knibbs, who organised the event, said: ‘It was an uplifting experience, and a great feeling to be able to support the local community and those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

‘Throughout the evening there was a lot of good humour and a healthy amount of banter; inevitable as amongst the crowd were a few ex-servicemen, which only added to the meaningfulness of the evening.

‘With Portsmouth as the home of the Royal navy, it’s always especially rewarding for the service to provide that extra bit of help and care to our neighbours in need; and we hope our small

effort can go a long way.’

All the items used to create meals at the LifeHouse come from food donated by residents and businesses.

The centre’s kitchen is manned by volunteers.

As well as offering food, the hub also provides homeless people with guidance on how to get work and advice on what services to approach.

For details, see lifehouse.org.uk