Tag Archives: charity

Noah Enterprise Luton, Bedfordshire ~ Such Great Need and an Inspiration for my novel


The wonderful slogan of Noah Enterprise Soup Kitchen in Luton, Bedfordshire.

Many years ago when I was going through a breakdown of my marriage I began to volunteer at Noah Enterprise Soup Kitchen in Luton. What impressed me most about this welfare centre was that it was so much more than a soup kitchen. At the time, back in 2003, the kitchen was run like clockwork by two Irish sisters. They were wonderfully understanding that I was quite fragile and so at first I only washed up in the background. Then, as my confidence grew, I began to serve at the hatch, enjoying the banter with the clients, and finally I was trusted to go and clear the tables alongside and intermingling with everyone.

The sisters were probably in their late fifties at the time but their sense of humour and their efficiency running the kitchen lived with me over the years and in MISSING Past and Present, the two Irish sisters who ran The Ark, a centre in an imaginary town of Drumford had similarities to my memories, only Orla and Laura had just left college. It was Dorothy, my protagonist, who was homeless, but she still had her pride as this extract shows:

Her sister’s name was Orla. It was easy to tell the difference because, although both had gingery blonde hair, Laura’s was cropped short around her oval face whereas Orla’s locks were long and plaited. The overall effect was similar with their delicately freckled features shining through.

‘What would you like today?’ winked Laura. How about this sexy black number?’ she asked as she held a sturdy black sweatshirt towards me. ‘There’s even some glamorous troos to match.’ The twinkle in her eyes rested on the leggings in her other hand.

I smiled, my eyes drifting to the floor. It was touching the way they were both sensitive to my shyness. Given an hour or so I would open up a little, but I found company a trifle hard to handle these days, after my imposed solitude.”

As at Noah, my fictional welfare centre provides far more than hot food; there’s a place of shelter to stay too. It is a place for the lost and vulnerable; for the homeless to take refuge, even if for a short period of time.

If you’d like to donate or volunteer at Noah in Luton, and I can assure you that the organisation and the place, not to mention the need are real, and not figments of my imagination, then please click on this link.

As the website says, you can donate more than just money ~ food, furniture and clothes are also vital for their work.

You could always volunteer at a place near you if you are able to, even during the pandemic. I know that in my short experience of a couple of years I gained far more than I gave. It was a pleasure!



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Filed under Bedfordshire, Events, MISSING Past and Present, Planning a novel

Homelessness ~ So Much Need but Some Good News in London

homelessI had intended to do a series of blog post about the issues which arise in my new novel, MISSING Past and Present, because they are close to my heart. These include Homelessness.

Dorothy, my protagonist, found herself homeless through no fault of her own, but she discovered a safely net. Some people are not so lucky at the moment.

I had no idea at the time of writing the novel that we would be facing such a crisis as Covid 19 now, but I’m going to begin this series nevertheless, by looking towards London, the epicentre of this crisis in Britain, in search of some good things that are happening to relieve the suffering:

1 Centrepoint in London continues to offer support for homeless young people. They give a roof over their heads and assist them if they are self isolating due to the virus. Being homeless in London is tragic at the best of times but now things are desperate. Read about some of the people here: Centrepoint.org.uk

Single Homeless Project is another positive story of so many lives changed for the better. This is what they aim to do at the Single Homeless Project, but if you would like to read some heart warming stories, do pop on to their website: https://www.shp.org.uk/

More than 1,000 homeless Londoners made safe

‘SHP is working with local government and charity partners across the capital to keep the city’s rough sleepers safe amid the COVID 19 pandemic. It is a charity which not only gives support but aims to transform lives.’

And finally another good news story:

3 Rough Sleepers in London Given Hotel Rooms in the crisis

Visit Stuart Bramhall’s blog post to read about it.

In every town and village across the country community spirit is shining through this period of darkness and fear and so it is also with the most vulnerable in our society. There are many ideas for raising money on each of the websites, or if you have any cash to spare then you can donate to support this vital work.

While I was writing about Dot (Dorothy), her resilience and fortitude guided her through the most traumatic of times, but she lived in the countryside surrounding the little imaginary country town of Drumford, so like many English market towns of today. Due to her location, her issues were quite different to these poor folks in London and so I’ll address them in the next post.


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Filed under Events, MISSING Past and Present

Giving something back to the local community ~ Charity Begins at Home

Healing Paths of Fife Poster Kinghorn High Street2-page-001.jpg

As a way of saying thank you to our local community, the profits of all copies of ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’ sold on Kinghorn High Street will be in aid of different Kinghorn charities, starting with The Over 60’s Lunch Club for February, March and April 2018.

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Filed under Book Shops, Fife, The Healing Paths of Fife, Virtual tour of Fife