During the Covid pandemic The Four Streets Project completely changed the way it worked as a charity – ensuring the safety of volunteers and the people we care for. We continued to operate an ‘every night’ service based at St Pancras Church and were proud to work in partnership with Chichester City and District Councils and Stonepillow. We were delighted to be asked to write about our experiences by The Chichester Society and their article is below (click on the image to download PDF):
The photo below show our lovely volunteers Andy and Alistair receiving a water delivery from local business owners Dawn and Rob Bunker – who own / run Fenwicks Cafe in Priory Park Chichester. Not only do Dawn and Rob donate water to us free of charge – but they deliver to our door too!
Thank you so much!
The photos above show lovely volunteers Susie and Gerry preparing another nights amazing food for the homeless & hungry donated by Marks & Spencer’s in East Chichester (thank you – team M and S!) alongside delicious home made soup made by volunteer Fiona.
Thank you to everyone who supports us – with time, kindness, food donations, grant applications, shopping & fundraising. EVERYTHING makes a difference!
The Four Streets Project Success During Covid 19
The Four Streets Project has run throughout lockdown at St Pancras Church. Covid 19 has impacted companies significantly and this means they are no longer able to provide The Four Streets Project with free of charge/ end of day food supplies. The Four Streets Project are now appealing for support from local restaurants and take-away to help with food supplies. The charity are willing to offer a donation towards the cost of food provided.
We are delighted to announce a very generous grant of £5,000.00 from the Sussex Community Foundation. Watch this video to hear from Donna Ockenden our Founder how the grant helped us support hungry and vulnerable people throughout Covid 19.
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.