Easter Hampers for Homeless in Stamford Hill


The Social Apostolate of St Ignatius Parish in Stamford Hill, North London, has been running a drop in centre for the homeless for 13 years.Soup Stamford Hill Polish Eastern European Homeless

A year ago, as a response to the pandemic, they increased their activity to provide hot meals five days a week, seeing a rise in the number of homeless people, and people who had lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus restrictions. At its height last year, 60-70 people were coming each day for food. They are now serving only half that number, having been able to help many service users take steps out of their desperate situations

Katarzyna Wójcik, who leads the project, explained: “Thanks to the increased number of days when we serve hot meals, we have greater contact with the people we help, we get to know them and their stories better, we get to know their individual needs, to which we try to adapt our actions.” 

The project, which has received funding from the Cardinal’s Appeal, particularly targets its help towards the Polish diaspora, and those from other Eastern European countries. One way in which they provide additional support, to help people rebuild their lives, is by linking people with agencies who can offer immigration advice. 

Stamford Hill queue

Many of the migrants that have passed through the doors of the Social Apostolate, have been helped to get settled status in the UK, National Insurance numbers, and to register with a GP for the first time. With their immigration formalised, people can apply for accommodation in hostels and shelters.

The staff of the Social Apostolate work with the Polish and Eastern European Christian Family Centre (PEEC) and the House of Polish and European Community (HOPEC), among others. People who come to the centre know that the project is not only a kitchen serving hot meals, but also a first point of contact for all kinds of additional support.

Being located in a church, the Apostolate can also support people with their spiritual needs, giving them the chance to receive the Catholic sacraments if they desire.

Katarzyna says “We believe that the whole process [of supporting homeless people] can be successful and effective only if it is based on a deep understanding of a human being as a whole: psychological and physical being, deserving to be shown a great respect”

food Stamford Hill homeless Polish

As well as providing a daily meal, the Social Apostolate distributes clothes and hygiene products. This Easter they are putting together packs which will include toiletries such as toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, hand sanitizers, as well as Covid masks and underwear.

If you  would like to support the Social Apostolate, you can get in touch with the parish through their website.

Many other social action projects will also be providing hampers or additional support over the Easter Holiday – check what the current needs of your local food bank or homeless centre are – most will have a website with a “how you can help” section, or have a look at our Volunteer Service website for other ways you can help.



Latest News

Read more…

Skip to content