SPEAR is a charity organisation supporting people experiencing homelessness in Richmond, London. They have the aim of building communities in which everyone has a place to call home and ensure those most vulnerable are given the relevant support. As well as this, SPEAR provide a variety of services, including the rough sleeper service, the homeless health link service and a skills and wellbeing development programme. This specific programme helps provide those experiencing homelessness with the skills needed to improve socially, educationally and increase their opportunities in employment.
Leiho has helped support SPEAR in many different ways, from providing donations of essential clothing items, hand sanitisers, water, non-perishable foods and more. Another way that Leiho has helped provide support was through hosting voluntary cooking classes to residents from SPEAR’s Penny Wade House and Wilton Road hostel, where they provide temporary accommodation and support for men, women and young people experiencing homelessness. At these sessions, members from the Leiho team taught residents how to cook nutritious and affordable meals in hopes to help individuals implement healthier eating habits and diets. A total of 12 cooking sessions were hosted, with each time, the meals were made using vegetables and ingredients provided by food banks that would otherwise go to waste. A common issue we noticed within hostels was that a lot of perishable foods are donated but end up going in the bin because people don't usually know how to cook them. Therefore, the cooking sessions helped the attendees learn how to make full use of the ingredients they had in the kitchen and create a delicious meal that don't have to cost a lot!
In addition, with the help of the Leiho community throughout the Christmas period, Leiho was able to donate over 200 items of essentials such as socks, beanies, gloves, toiletries, snacks, a set of kitchen utensils, as well as a donation of £313 to help fund phone credits, translation and transportation costs to those experiencing homelessness.
You can find out more about SPEAR and the services they provide on their website SPEAR London. Feel free to give them a follow on their socials @Spearlondon87, to keep up-to-date with their latest campaigns and the different ways you can help.
You can also check out a bit more about our cooking classes with this short video below!
Written by: Shania Foster