Food and emotional support resumes at Storehouse’s new HQ
Storehouse has been operated from The Fox, on Leicester Street, since it was founded 13 years ago, but it is now housed at the rear of The Hope Centre, on Nottingham Street.
Deputy Mayor of Melton, Councillor Alan Hewson, cut the ribbon to officially open the new headquarters at a reception event on Friday afternoon for stakeholders and partners from the community.
Volunteers who run the service now do so from a space three times bigger than the previous one, with a relaxing cafe area and shower facilities provided.
Storehouse is part of registered charity Melton Vineyard and is supported by Churches Together in Melton Mowbray, as well as individuals, local businesses, clubs and organisations.
At the official launch, Neal Swettenham, of Melton Vineyard, told the Melton Times: “More and more people are in need of a service like this, unfortunately.
“It is a shame that it is needed but Covid has increased the numbers we will be supporting.
“This includes people who are not used to asking for help.
“But Storehouse is a friendly place for them to come and see people who listen and who care about what they are going through.”
It is open to visitors every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am to 1pm, and refreshements are provided, as well as a lunch every week and an offer of practical, emotional and spiritual support.
The service supplies food, clothing, bedding, baby equipment to those who most need support, plus shelter bags for the homeless.
The first floor café area offers a friendly welcome and volunteers serve free teas, coffees and hot snacks, with a lift available for those less mobile.
After cutting the ribbon, Councillor Hewson said: “This is such an important service for the borough.
“People’s circumstances can dramatically change overnight, perhaps through being made redundant or suffering from illness, and they shouldn’t worry about asking for help.
“We have 70 villages in the Melton borough and this service is accessible to them as well as people living in the town.”
Councillor Pam Posnett, who represents Melton on both the borough and county councils, also attended Friday’s launch.
She told us: “Storehouse is very important for lots of people in the borough - it gives them a lifeline and some hope.
“It is not only food it can help people with, it’s the way it provides somebody for them to talk to, particularly those who live alone.”
The relocation from the Fox and the refurbishment has been paid for by a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund and contributions from local authorities and businesses.
The various other activities at The Hope Centre are resuming gradually as coronavirus restrictions are easing.
The baby cafe starts again on Wednesday, church meetings restart next month and the Breathing Space service is already available again.