Hartlepool students moved to tears by St Aidan's Church Kitchen as they give boxes of supplies

Caring Hartlepool students were moved by the work of a community project that provides a hot meal people in need.

Saturday, 16th November 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 16th November 2019, 9:57 pm
Left to Right: Rev Gemma Sampson, Keeley McManus, Libby Hutchinson, Charlie Dunn, Angie Ellis (volunteer), Emily Hewitt, Sophie Fender, George Passfield, and Kathy Spears.

Students from English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College visited St Aidan’s Kitchen to deliver ten huge boxes of supplies.

Pupils in St John Boste House collected a variety of tinned foods, cereals, toiletries and other various supplies as part of their house mass in October.

Reverend Gemma Sampson, who runs the project along with a group of volunteers, met with students, gave them a quick tour and answered their questions.

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Rev Sampson said: “We started with a couple of microwaves and kettles. We quickly realised there was a real need for the kitchen so we fundraised.

“Within three months we had £30,000 and opened the kitchen you see today.”

The vital service is based in St Aidan’s Church, in Oxford Street, and provided hot meals and groceries for people who are hungry, homeless, or in any kind of need, every Thursday between 11am and 1pm.

Kathy Spears, House Leader for John Boste was overwhelmed by the experience. She said: “As soon as I walked into that community I was lost for words.”

Year 9 student Keely McManus said: “When I walked in my eyes filled with tears.

“The visit made me realise how unfortunate other people are. It was absolutely heartbreaking.”

Rev Sampson thanked the students for their donation saying: “I, and more importantly, all the people here, thank you all for your donations.

“It is a fantastic gesture and I can’t thank you enough.”

The kitchen, now in its second year, has secured enough money and supplies to open on Christmas Day, providing warmth, food and a small gift to all who visit.

Anne-Marie McKenna, the school chaplain at EMS, said: “We are going to be supporting this wonderful service at all of our house masses this year and we are going to adopt it as our Lent charity too.

“Gemma has done a brilliant job and I hope the kitchen continues to serve the people of Hartlepool who need it for a long time.”

Donations are always welcome at the church and they are always in desperate need of toiletries and tinned food.