Souprunners Nottingham is a non-profit organisation set up by students from the University of Nottingham. They provide 2 weekly runs on a Tuesday and Sunday in the evening based in the city centre and they do this all year round.
On a cold Tuesday night (the temperature was 1 degrees) in November, some of us from Broxtowe Youth Homelessness took part in the work the Souprunners do and gave a helping hand to those who need it the most. We got there around 7pm, shortly after the souprunners arrived. They had flasks for coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cup a soup. They also had crisps, biscuits and sandwiches. These were distributed to all the people who came along and needed them, most of the people accessing the service had already formed an orderly queue where we had set up so it was nice to see that it’s accessible and that the souprunners have established themselves. I would say there was about 30-40 people there of different ages, male and female and a variety of different nationalities and backgrounds.
We ran out of supplies around 8, but as we wanted to stay and chat to some of the homeless people we stayed around longer. We met some lovely people, Robbie, John and David, they all said one thing in common and that was that the hardest thing to deal with when being homeless is the lack of love and loneliness. A few of the people we spoke to were now in accommodation but came for the company as the friends they have made there were the only friends they have. We also met a man that had had to leave his home in a different country because of a war there that was now sleeping in a shed, it was shocking to hear his story and see he had little or no support. It was really eye opening to see that all the people were so down to earth, just like us and to think they were someone’s son, daughter or other family member that had just got lost along the way.
When we finished our conversations, we headed home. We all said that we would love to volunteer at a soup run again, but try ones that move around the city centre in hope to get other homeless people who don’t know about the service fed and involved.