From Monday 29th June – The Four Streets Project has a new home. We will continue our Covid 19 ‘takeaway supper club’ for the homeless, hungry and vulnerable 7 nights a week at St Paul’s Church, Churchside – near the Fire Station. Please come to the church by 730pm. We will be serving until 8pm. You will see the same friendly and caring volunteers with the usual tasty food and soup – we just have a new home!’
We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Father Mark Payne and the team at St Pancras for giving us a ‘roof over our heads’ in the last 4 months. We’d also like to express our gratitude to Father Simon Holland and his team for providing us with a new ‘Four Streets’ home for the future.
Although we are not a ‘faith’ based group and we support people of all faiths and none – without the help of these two amazing Chichester churches the Four Streets Project would have struggled to exist safely throughout the Covid 19 pandemic – thank you all – from the bottom of our hearts!
We look forward to seeing you all at our new home and to helping those in need in Chichester now and in the future.
Donna Ockenden- Founder and volunteer – The Four Streets Project On behalf of all volunteers.
Thank you to staff and pupils at Portsmouth High School for Girls for all their support in the last year, we are so grateful and look forward to seeing you all after the summer holidays
The Four Streets Project in Chichester was founded in early 2016 when Donna Ockenden and her two daughters moved to live in the heart of Chichester. They couldn’t walk by and see homeless and hungry people on the streets of Chichester without doing something. Their work was formalised at the beginning of 2017 when they were joined by a number of like minded local residents and The Four Streets Project was officially ‘born.’
Fast forward to the beginning of 2020 – the start of the Four Streets Projects 5th year of operation. There are now around 35 local volunteers and since the beginning of 2017 this amazing team of volunteers led by Donna have never missed a night.
With the Coronavirus situation becoming more serious in February the volunteers first introduced enhanced hygiene procedures but soon this was not enough. In early March it was clear that a completely new approach would be needed in order that volunteers and the homeless were kept safe and The Four Streets Project could maintain its commitment to ‘never missing a night.’
The Four Streets Project has always had a very good relationship with all of the churches across Chichester although it is not a church or faith based group. St Pancras Church was also looking at how it could safely operate their regular ‘breakfast club’ ensuring that all Government safety guidance around hygiene and social distancing was adhered to. Ideas were pooled & in the 2nd week of March The Four Streets Project started a 7 day a week, socially distanced and take away hot supper club for the homeless & vulnerable based at St Pancras Church.
Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic the Four Streets Project has operated every night from St Pancras Church and fed increasing numbers of hungry and vulnerable people. On a typical night we now expect to see 30 or more people needing a hot takeaway dinner. We have had to quickly adapt our processes on an ongoing basis because so many of our long term suppliers have had to close their doors. However our volunteers are a fabulous team who adapt to change quickly and are incredibly proud of everything we do….
A silver lining in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis?
When Lockdown loomed our first thoughts were probably not with the homeless and rough sleepers of West Sussex, left without the support systems they would normally rely on to survive. But thanks to the combined efforts of local councils and charities there has been a wonderful silver lining. Every rough sleeper has been given the opportunity of a place to stay, access to healthcare, companionship, advice and three meals a day whilst continuing to observe the social distancing rules.
Chichester charity’s website launches with £2000 donation
The Four Streets Project has launched its new website. The website launch kickstarted with a donation from Chichester City Council of £2,000.00. Winter survival kits were purchased using £1,800.00 of the donation and the remainder was added to other donations to buy 19 homeless people new boots.
Chichester homeless charity Stonepillow has announced it will re-open its hub to its original hours for three months. In April Stonepillow began closing their Chichester day centre on weekends due to funding cuts but have now announced it will once again provide its seven-days-a-week service. Funding from Chichester District Council will allow the reopening for three months from January 4 to March.
The Four Streets Project team have launched on Twitter! Widening their reach via social media the charity are continuing to raise awareness to help support homeless people in Chichester. Linking with local people, businesses and the media along with national charities, the account hopes to build a following which will assist in making positive change over the coming months.
The Four Streets Project Community Coat Rack is still up and running – and has reached the point where only children’s coats are needed. Please help us ensure no child is cold through lack of a coat this winter/ Christmas. The team wish to thank the fabulous people of Chichester, and all the great schools supporting the work of volunteers of The Four Streets Project who run the Chichester Community Coat Rack each year.
The community coat rack appeal is an annual initiative set up to help struggling members of the Chichester community during the winter months by giving them a warm winter coat free of charge. The scheme was set up four years ago by Donna Ockenden of the The Four Streets Project in partnership with the Chichester Observer and Chichester City Council. On November 16th the Four Streets Project volunteers met outside the Assembly Rooms in North Street for the coat racks official launch. Passers-by donated coats and members of the community in need were able to take one.
Donna Ockenden and The Four Streets Project are now working with Grandad’s Front Room CIC (Community Interest Company) in Bognor Regis. Grandad’s Front Room was set up in 2016 and they have spent the last three years working to help tackle numerous social issues in the Bognor Regis area. The not for profit charity operates with the sole intention of helping others who need help, for free.