Fundraisers in Chester are selling bricks to help buy a house for the city’s homeless people.
Founders of the Share Shop on Northgate Street aim to buy a derelict house in the city and, with the help of tradespeople and businesses, turn it into a home for four people who are currently homeless and sleeping on the streets.
They hope to raise £97,000 to buy a three bedroom house which they have already identified and co-founder of the Share Shop Adam Dandy arranged a Buy a Brick Day on March 1 to coincide with St David’s Day.
The event kicked off with a flash mob by dance students from the University of Chester .
Later in the evening Chester chef Luke Thomas from Luke’s Eating House, on St John Street, ran a soup kitchen at the Northgate Street shop, with all ingredients provided free of charge by Hawarden Farm Shop.
Guests were entertained by comedian and magician John Holt and Dee 106.3.
Adam said: “Thank you to everyone who came tonight and made this a fantastic St David’s Day for Chester’s homeless. “The support we have received from Luke, John and the Hawarden Farm Shop has been absolutely amazing and the response and gratitude from those sleeping rough in the city has been heartwarming.
“It was lovely to see everyone mixing so well in the shop and unbelievable that something as simple as soup can bring down barriers.”
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Magician John Holt added: “I think what Adam and the team have created in the Share Shop is pretty amazing. It’s something genuinely exciting that the people of Chester have rallied behind and something that has brought true inspiration to the city.
“Performing last night was good fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it. It was a heartwarming experience to see people come together to support the shop.
"There’s a level of stigma that comes with being labelled ‘homeless’, yet it can so easily happen, often due to no fault of your own.
Some of the issues that homeless people experience; the fear of being attacked at night for example are terrifying. These kinds of fears throw up barriers that only help to lengthen the divide from society that the homeless experience.
“The Share shop is just one of the ways that can help break down these barriers and it was great to be able to help out in my own small way. Hopefully, people will continue to support the Share Shop however they can, and that it will serve as inspiration to develop their own ideas.”
Since it opened in January the Share Shop has become popular with Chester residents and the homeless community alike. Customers can buy a suspended coffee, a clothes voucher or even a slice of cake for a person who is homeless and leave them a kind message.
The shop also set up the first Kindness Wall in the UK where people are invited to hang up warm coats, toiletries and even sweets and treats - complete with a message for the recipient – for those living rough on the streets of Chester to help themselves to if they need it.
You can support the Share Shop by donating goods or volunteering your time at the Northgate Street shop or to ‘Buy a Brick’ and support the house purchase visit: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/buy-a-brick-house-4-homeless