A GROUP of kind-hearted volunteers have started a new initiative to provide hot meals to homeless and vulnerable people this winter.

Gill Hills and Jas Jutley from The Crafty Teacup Creative Centre are serving hot food on Tuesday’s from 4pm to 6pm until February 11 to ensure vulnerable and homeless people get a hot meal during the cold weather season.

The duo were inspired to start the initiative after hosting cooking workshops and pop ups at the centre and meeting homeless and vulnerable people in the are.

Gill said: “We started feeding the homeless in the middle of December and we have had a few people come in.

“The people we have had coming in have been really grateful and have benefitted, not everyone can afford hot meals or don’t have the facilities to cook them.

“We met a young woman and her partner, who was autistic, one day when we were hosting our workshops and they were staying in a tent. They started coming in for tea and we wanted to help them.

“As a direct result of people coming in to see us we have got two people off the street which is great.”

Jas appealed for donations on Facebook in order to get enough money to cook the meals and said she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the generosity of people in the community.

“I asked for £70 as that would be enough money for me to cook meals for 30 people each week until February,” Jess said.

“Only an hour after putting up the Facebook appeal I was overwhelmed with the kindness and donations from the community.

“When we cook up meals we pack them up and take the leftover food up to people in Highbridge so they can have a hot meal as it is a long way for people to walk.”

The centre, which is owned by Gill, opened in 2013 as a cafe and craft centre but last year Gill decided to continue with the business as a craft centre after discovering that the centre’s craft sessions were ‘extremely popular.’

“Our ethos is that we work for the community, with the community. We are a community hub,” Gill said.

“Since we have moved over to being just a craft centre things have just got better and better. We have been so busy.

“In 2020 we will be hosting more private pop up’s where people can come in and try different cuisines like Jamaican food and Indonesian food.

“We also have new parties coming this year, more funded workshops from SS&L including art, jewellery making, textiles, cooking workshops, chai tea and Indian head massage,

“We are looking to do a lot more with children this year as children need to be able to be creative.

“And for the first time we are going to do funded menopause workshops. It is such a stressful time and women were telling me that they were struggling and I just thought it fits the criteria for funding so well and we have to do it.

“We are also mid year going to start offering mum’s workshops in baby massage and meditation workshops which is exciting. We are looking forward to 2020.”