‘We want to help’: Portsmouth garage opens soup kitchen for homeless

Danny O'Reilly, 38, left and Tony Clemnents, 30, of North End Motors in London Road North End, Portsmouth 

Picture:  Malcolm Wells (170109-4547)
Danny O'Reilly, 38, left and Tony Clemnents, 30, of North End Motors in London Road North End, Portsmouth Picture: Malcolm Wells (170109-4547)

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BELLIES of some of the area’s most needy residents will be kept full this year thanks to caring staff at a city motoring firm.

North End Motors, in London Avenue, North End, has launched its own weekly soup kitchen as part of a city-wide drive to support Portsmouth’s homeless.

You never know if you’re going to be in that situation – you never know if it’s going to be turned around on you

Tony Clements, manager at North End Motors

Staff at the dealership were inspired to help after reading reports in The News about the actions of other kindhearted people across the area.

Its soup kitchen will take place every Friday and was the brainchild of the company’s bosses, Tony Clements and Danny O’Reilly.

Tony, who is the manager at the firm, said he could not sit by as the number of homeless people living on Portsmouth’s streets rose to new highs.

Tony, 30, of Emsworth, said: ‘It’s getting ridiculous. We have done really well trading and we want to put something back.

‘You never know if you’re going to be in that situation – you never know if it’s going to be turned around on you.’

Staff are hoping to spread the word about their kitchen – which is the latest in a series of charitable ventures by North End Motors.

In 2015 the company raised about £37,000 for charity with a boxing event at the Mountbatten Centre.

Father-of-two Tony said homelessness was a situation close to the heart of his eldest daughter, Mia, 10.

He said: ‘She always wants to help and give them money. She says they have nothing.’

As well as soup, a roll and a warm drink, the firm has also been donated a number of warm clothes which they want to give to the needy.

The firm’s director Danny hoped the kitchen would become a regular fixture. He said: ‘If this can help just one person then we’ve done our job.’

The news comes after a deal was struck between Portsmouth City Council and charity St James Society to help the area’s homeless.