A van dedicated to assisting those sleeping rough was dispatched for the first time on Thursday evening (January 12) - the coldest night of the year.
The Chester ShareShop charity and a team from FENW, who operate the Richmond Court hostel in Boughton, hit the city streets to provide the homeless with new tents, sleeping bags, warm clothes and refillable flasks of hot soup.
Rough sleepers were also offered the chance to be taken to secure accommodation to keep warm and protect them from the elements.
Cash for the Peugeot Boxer van was raised through a dedicated Crowdfunder campaign over Christmas and New Year
ShareShop has also gathered donations to enable them to provide free hot soup in a refillable flask from its Northgate Street shop as well as from the van.
And the charity has joined forces with Chester Aid to the Homeless and the City Mission who are providing free refill stations across the city.
ShareShop is concerned about how rough sleepers will make it through the winter and has called for the council to provide a daytime shelter to add to its nighttime accommodation.
In the meantime, providing hot soup is seen as one way of preventing people freezing to death during the winter months.
In a statement, ShareShop said: “Following a small number of incidents involving anti-social behaviour outside of the ShareShop in October, we were asked to close the homeless cafe side down by Cheshire Police, leaving the charity shop open as normal.
“It’s not our intention to go against the local authority, therefore we agreed to adapt our offering in order to continue to deliver aid to those who need it the most in Chester.”
ShareShop said it was now providing hot soup and donated food from its premises but in a take-away capacity only, not as a sit-down café as before.
The statement continued: “We are aiming to provide everyone who is homeless in Chester with a ShareFlask.
"This is a refillable flask that the homeless can use to claim #SuspendedSoups bought for them by members of the public.
"We are looking for people to sponsor a #ShareFlask which will be given to each person who is homeless in Chester.
"These flasks will also be refilled with hot soup by our new ShareVan Team who will be delivering aid directly to the homeless on the streets.
“Our aim is to try to get these people off the streets and in to care, but if for whatever reason we can’t, we will do what we can to give them aid to keep them alive and as warm as possible throughout the winter.
“A refillable flask full of hot soup, although it sounds very basic, will actually help a lot and give us the chance to engage with people in need.”
Charity co-founder Adam Dandy was delighted when more than 100 #ShareFlasks were donated by the people of Chester in the first 48 hours. ShareShop hopes to persuade city cafes and restaurants to offer to refill these ShareFlasks with warm soup or coffee for free over the winter.
The charity is also requesting donations of tinned soup to the ShareShop each week as well as blankets and sleeping bags.
Anyone wishing to sponsor a #ShareFlask by donating £10, is asked to text: KIND23 £10 to 70070