Kendal’s winter homeless shelter, run by Manna House in conjunction with six local churches, has had a surprise outcome from its guests. The homeless people utilising the shelter have begun a walking group and have started to walk around the fells and hills of the South Lakes area.

One of shelter volunteer, Kirstin Pilling, was so moved by this that she approached the George Romney Kendal Ltd mint cake company and asked if they would donate some mint cake to the group. Paula Barron, Director of GRK Ltd said,
“I was surprised to learn about the winter homeless shelter run by Manna house and six of our local churches, and how there is a need for this kind of support in Kendal. By donating some of our mint cake I hope this can help highlight the issue we have in our town, and also provide a boost to those homeless people who have started a walking group in the area”.

Kirstin Pilling, the volunteer moved to organise this said; “I would never have imagined how much being involved in the Shelter would GIVE BACK. Obviously, volunteering requires the giving of my time, which I was keen to do, but the actual experience of building up the camaraderie in our team, offering companionship without any judgement, and being able to share what I can…has been really amazing.”

The homeless man responsible for leading the walking group, Shem, said ‘I’m thrilled with this generous gift; it’s really made my day!’

Manna House is grateful to Kirstin and to George Romney Kendal Ltd. for their generosity and are so pleased that people who are struggling with homelessness are taking such practical steps to improve their lifestyle. There are many practical benefits to taking up this kind of exercise including improvements in both mental and physical health which will help build motivation for finding accommodation and work/training.

The winter shelter is coordinated by Penny Severn, Outreach and Development Worker at Manna House and her team. It runs for three months, December to the end of February. This is its second year of running and was set up for those not eligible for any other form of accommodation in this area, mainly because they have complex needs.

Email penny@manna-house.org.uk or call 01539 725534 for more info.

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