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Leeds Charity Homeless Hampers Boosted After King’s Award 

Since winning the King’s Award for Voluntary Service in November, Homeless Hampers has seen a spike in volunteer numbers and an increased interest in their work. 

Trustee Tina Suryavansi, who manages Homeless Hampers with her husband, Siya, said: “It has blown out of proportion, which is fantastic. Within 8 years we have gone from a handful to over 500 people who are registered with us now as volunteers.”  

The equivalent of an MBE, the King’s Award for Voluntary Service is the top award possible for any voluntary group in the UK. 

Homeless Hampers was already the biggest charity feeding the homeless in Leeds, but Tina said this will further help in their main aim of getting people off the street.

Based on Vicar Lane in the city centre they feed approximately 150 people every Sunday. Their roving teams deliver hot and cold food to another 20-25 homeless individuals around the city.

They give out everything from gloves, socks and sleeping bags to water, soft drinks, tea and coffee to sandwiches and a full hot roast Sunday dinner. The distribution teams refer to homeless individuals as customers.  

One recipient of a Sunday dinner from the roving team was Herman Sykes, who is currently homeless.  

He said: “It really helps…but it’s more the love that helps. It makes me want to put up a sign and say thank you Leeds.” 

Homeless Hampers has a Sunday night tradition of having a group photograph of each outreach team.

Siya Suryavansi said: “Really the award has given us the recognition that I think will help us lift Homeless Hampers to another level, and that‘s what we want to do…see how else we can help those people who need our help.” 

With Yorkshire’s frosty weather, and Christmas now a matter of days away, this help will surely be more keenly felt than ever. 

To volunteer for Homeless Hampers – click on this link: Volunteer – Homeless Hampers 

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