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The Brixton Soup Kitchen: helping rebuild the community with more than just a hot meal

3 min read

Better Society
The Brixton Soup Kitchen: helping rebuild the community with more than just a hot meal
Source: BrixtonBuzz

Welcoming community hub BSK provides a hot lunch, a food bank, clothes bank, weekly reading group, Legal Evening and other regular training & advice gatherings.

The award-winning non-profit is a much needed safety net in the community

The Brixton Soup Kitchen opened in January 2013 and quickly gained traction, as it was a much-needed service in the local community, aiming to provide assistance to those in need not just from Brixton, but from all areas of London, and free legal advice for the homeless. Founders, Solomon Smith & Mahamed Hashi, and fellow Director, Derrick Anderson, were all youth workers at the time. Over the years, the Directors and the organisation have received recognition for the work of the Kitchen by way of Awards and media coverage.

“My dream is to eradicate homelessness...” — Solomon Smith Founded by two Brixtonians, Solomon Smith and Mahamed Hashi in January 2013, the Brixton Soup Kitchen continues to provide a community space for homeless people or people in desperate need. Source: Facebook/BBC

More than simply soup, BSK is a multi-faceted tool in the fight against hunger and homelessness

Brixton, South London, United Kingdom — The Brixton Soup Kitchen prides itself on being a welcoming community hub. It is a secure, warm place to visit where not only will a hot lunch be served, there is also a food bank, a clothes bank, a weekly reading group called Book at Breakfast, the Thursday Legal Evening and several other regular training & advice gatherings. A sense of belonging is to be enjoyed at all times.

Several of the service users have been helped to find employment or housing, while others have gained the confidence to enrol in training & further education. The BSK also does remarkable outreach work on a regular basis, taking hot food and clothing to those living on the street and to families in need across London.

BSK, working closely with the Job Centre Pinnacle Project and Lambeth Probation Service, arranges for individuals to commit on a regular basis, which allows the Kitchen to rely on assistance as well as bolstering a sense of effectiveness in each service user. The extensive UK media coverage and swift word-of-mouth in the area means that many people call or write offering to volunteer their time ~ the BSK then targets their strengths to best enhance the work that needs to be done.

Below: In this short spotlight from TEDxBrixton on great community projects worth highlighting, Brixton Soup Kitchen founder shares the inspiration behind the idea. First published on 15 Sep 2013, when the project was young.

Source: BrixtonSoupKitchen.org

Feeding Brixton’s vulnerable and homeless: Solomon Smith at TEDx Brixton A youth worker by profession, Solomon Smith even spent his free time giving clothes and meals to the homeless in the area. The project is self-financed and Solomon has ambitions to create a support centre to help homeless people become more self-sufficient and has already helped four people back into work. (First published on 15 Sep 2013, when the project was young) Source: Youtube/TEDxTalks

BSK has delivered this service for the last 4 years without any funding whatsoever…

The Brixton Soup Kitchen is community space for homeless people or people in desperate need. The Soup Kitchen aspires to provide food, drink and companionship in a warm and friendly environment on a weekly basis. 

Since 2013 they have served over 40,000 meals, either eaten on site or distributed during food drop offs and outreach sessions.

Since starting the ‘Brixton Soup Kitchen’ they have received food donations from Pret A Manager, Greggs, Nandos, Satay Brixton, Marks and Spencer’s and media support from The Voice Newspaper, Channel 4 and The South London Press who awarded them with the ‘Our Hero’s Award’ in April 2013 as well as being nominated in the Independent on Sunday’s Happy 100 list and being featured in the Evening Standard’s top 1000 influential list 2015 and 2016.

BSK has also appeared in a number of the UK’s national television programs, including Surprise Surprise and BBQ Champ 2015. The word about the good work at ‘Brixton Soup Kitchen’ has been spreading which would not have been possible without the support they receive from the local community, volunteers and unpaid staff members.

The Kitchen is now is working towards becoming a recognised support centre for the community as a whole. It is hoped that extra facilities can be added to the already popular centre including job searching support, advice on housing and benefits and a night shelter for those in dire need. 

However in order to achieve this, a lot of support will be needed. They are currently trying to raise £30,000/€34,000/$40,500 to support themselves in the running, upkeep and programme delivery in the Soup Kitchen. 

The Brixton Soup Kitchen has delivered this service for the last 4 years without any funding whatsoever… however they are now struggling to maintain a service that supports so many of the vulnerable people in the nation’s capital. Find out how you can help at the bottom of this article.

Source: GoGetFunding/BrixtonSoupKitchenAppeal

Since 2013 BSK have served over 40,000 meals, either eaten on site or distributed during food drop offs and outreach sessions.
A warm meal is a huge boost to the morale and sense of well-being of the homeless Since 2013 BSK have served over 40,000 meals, either eaten on site or distributed during food drop offs and outreach sessions. Source: GoGetFunding/BrixtonSoupKitchenAppeal
Make an Impact

Brixton Soup Kitchen Appeal — Fundraising campaign by Solomon Smith

The Brixton Soup Kitchen team are currently trying to raise £30,000 to support themselves in the running, upkeep and programme delivery in the Soup Kitchen. Having delivered this service for the past 4 years without any funding whatsoever, they are now struggling to maintain a service that supports so many of the vulnerable people in the nation’s capital. Any assistance would be most welcome.