By Debbie Sayers Fullwood
Each year the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, on Preston New Road in Southport, take on an extra service project in order to provide confectionery for the homeless of the area through Southport Soup Kitchen.
Linda Roberts, who liaises between the two charities said: “We started helping the Soup Kitchen when it was first established as we recognised it as an opportunity to become involved in supporting the local community and helping out those most in need in our town.
“Justin Dempster, the late founder of the Kitchen, became a friend of our Church and over the years as well the normal food and clothing donations we have also collected chocolate bars and Christmas confectionery that our members donate and wrap.”
Linda estimates that since 2011 around 2,000 confectionary items have been donated by the Church members in this way.
Linda said: “We collect well over 100 bars each Christmas and the same again at Easter.
“We have helped out with other jobs at the building too including clearing, painting and making safe.
“Once, after the property on London Street experienced flooding, our members volunteered to redecorate the cellar, where the food is stored, and also the dining room. Marie Buchanan, the current Director and trustee of the facility, is very thankful for all we do.”
This year the children of the Church had planned to help deliver the chocolate that their families had donated.
“Linda said:”We thought it would be a magnificent opportunity for the children to learn a little about sacrifice and to lend a hand while serving those less fortunate than themselves.”
Unfortunately the children have been unable to help with the delivery because of the Coronavirus restrictions.
Linda had to make the delivery alone although she was able to get this photo of the local Bishop Peter Rigby’s children with some of the chocolate bars bagged ready for donation.
Marie, who is managing the Soup Kitchen operations over the festive season, said: “We continue to open as a takeaway to serve our guests and also deliver to any family in the community needing our help too.
“The Kitchen is also still accepting food and tinned goods as we continue our work to support local families in need.