Homelessness charity launches ambitious bid to fund new premises

Chief Executive of the Feed Foundation, Matt Townsend.

Chief Executive of the Feed Foundation, Matt Townsend. - Credit: Sainsbury's Pound Lane

Over a hundred supporters attended the launch party for a Norwich-based charity which supports the homeless as it kicked off an ambitious fundraising campaign.

The Feed helps people who have been homeless or who have faced disadvantage by training them in catering.

And the organisation, which previously operated solely as a social enterprise, has now set up a charitable arm - the Feed Foundation - to reinvest profits in to.

It comes as chief executive Matt Townsend announced his intention to open a brand new training academy in Prince of Wales Road, Norwich.

It would allow the organisation to train up to 100 people at a time - more than doubling their current 40-person capacity.

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But it comes at a cost, and a £20,000 fundraising bid has been given a tight six-week deadline.

Mr Townsend, who took over the helm at the organisation a year ago, said: 'The Feed has been running for four years and registering the charity was a natural progression for us as it enables us to reinvest profits in to the community by providing more training.

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'We hope other businesses will help us by donating to the charity. We were amazed by the turnout for our launch party which was an excellent night and we have already had lots of support for our new fundraising campaign.'

He added: 'At the moment we're using other people's kitchens, so in the new premises we can have it set up all the time.'

He also revealed the new building would include a cafe, where those going through the training programme could gain valuable work experience - much like on the stall the Feed currently runs on Norwich Market.

Mr Townsend added: 'We have huge demand for the training, and we do have a waiting list. So when people try to get on the training we want to get them on as quickly as possible because they've reached a point in their life that they're ready to make changes.'

The Feed has already had support from Kettle Foods, Aviva, the owners of Warwick St Social and the rotary club of Norwich St Edmund to get the charity up and running, along with profits from the Feed's catering business.

The charity funding will be used to enable more people to access the Feed Academy's training programme which helps people who have been at risk of homelessness, have mental health problems or other major barriers to employment.

To donate, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/off-the-street-into-the-kitchen

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