Published: Friday, 5 March 2021

The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Mark Lygo, recently visited (01/03) homeless support charity the Gatehouse at its centre in Woodstock Road, Oxford.

The Lord Mayor joined volunteers packing food parcels for delivery to their vulnerably-housed guests.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gatehouse has been unable to allow guests into its community drop-in centre because of virus transmission risks, so instead it has been jointly operating a daily takeaway café for rough sleepers, together with this home delivery service for other guests.

At the takeaway café pre-prepared food such as sandwiches and pot noodles are provided, with hot food such as baked potatoes and pasta dishes also now being offered several nights per week, whilst the home delivery parcels contain mainly packaged goods which vulnerably-housed guests can use to supplement their own food purchases and prepare their own meals.

In 2020 the equivalent of 12,180 meals were provided via home deliveries, and the demand for this service continues to rise.

You can help by donating towards their current online appeal or via other methods detailed on the Gatehouse website.

It is important to recognise and support the work that these charities do in helping those who are in need. The community is vitally important in supporting charities such as the Gatehouse.”

Councillor Mark Lygo, the Lord Mayor of Oxford

“When we first started home deliveries the focus was on ensuring the most vulnerable guests weren’t going without food, so at that time around 30 individuals, including those we knew were sheltering, or at particularly high risk, received these parcels.

“With the negative economic impact of the pandemic now being felt more strongly we have been seeing more and more people referred to us by other agencies for support, and the home delivery service now reaches around 70 people living in Oxford and the surrounding areas.”

Zoe, Operations Manager at the Gatehouse

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