Sunday Suppers in ‘desperate’ call for new van

Dottie Mistry and the Sunday Suppers volunteers have launched an appeal to raise cash for a new van. Their current vehicle is not big enough to carry all they need.

Pictured: Pauline Niemann, Dottie Mistry and Zoe O'Callaghan


PICTURE: Mecha Morton
Dottie Mistry and the Sunday Suppers volunteers have launched an appeal to raise cash for a new van. Their current vehicle is not big enough to carry all they need. Pictured: Pauline Niemann, Dottie Mistry and Zoe O'Callaghan PICTURE: Mecha Morton

A grass roots organisation made up of ‘people who care’ is appealing for help to get support out to homeless people this winter.

Sunday Suppers, which started a year ago with good intentions and a flask of hot soup, now supplies homeless and vulnerable people in Bury St Edmunds with hot meals and essential supplies three nights a week.

But their efforts, which are funded by supporters of the Sunday Suppers Facebook page and through donations, are being seriously hampered without the use of a large van for transport.

Now, the group has launched a campaign to raise £8,000 to buy a second-hand Transit van and is appealing for a sponsor.

Founder Dottie Mistry said they started helping rough sleepers in Bury last November by filling a flask with hot soup and going around the doorways of the town serving it to those in need.

Now, she says they serve 30-35 people with hot meals every Sunday, Monday and Thursday evening from the street outside Moyse’s Hall Museum.

“The people we meet are cold, they are hungry and they need food. We can help them with a hot meal, hot dessert, hot drink and a packed lunch for the next day,” said Dottie.

“I started the group and it’s just snowballed. We are seeing a huge increase in people sleeping rough. People need good, hot food to keep going in this weather. We give them camping stoves and fuel if they need it.

“If it rains and they get wet, what do they do? There’s nowhere for them to dry their sleeping bags and clothes at 11pm at night. So we do their laundry if they need it.

“We are just people who care and we got together and thought ‘Let’s look after our corner of the world’.”

In addition to serving regular hot meals, Sunday Suppers is preparing to give out shoeboxes filled with essential supplies and gifts to the homeless this Christmas, as well as planning a hot meal on Christmas Eve at the St John’s Centre, in St John’s Street.

But Sunday Suppers’ current mode of transport – a seven seater vehicle – is no longer big enough to hold everything the group needs on a regular basis.

“You name it, everything we need has to go in that seven-seater,” said Dottie.

“We are finding we have to make more trips and the fact is, we need a bigger vehicle . We have outgrown it and we are desperate.

“We have seen a Transit van for sale that would be ideal, but it’s £8,000. That’s why we’ve launched the crowdfunding appeal, and if we could find a sponsor that would be incredible.”

How to help:

- Go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/find and search for ‘Sunday Supper’ to donate to the crowdfunding appeal

- Search on Facebook for @sundaysuppersuk to see how you could give practical help or support

- Email sundaysupperbse@gmail.com to get involved

- Support or join the awareness-raising ‘sleep out’ taking place from 7.30pm on December 9-7am on December 10 in Bury town centre – location to be confirmed.