Claire Bradford: Share the warmth this winter

ON SATURDAY, a new and exciting scheme will be launching in some of Worthing’s cafés.

‘Share the Warmth’ is a simple plan to help the town’s homeless people – especially needed in this cold, wet weather.

The idea is simple: a customer at the café buys a drink and then has the option to ‘Share the Warmth’ by donating any multiple of 50p towards another drink to be claimed by someone in need. Each 50p donated is signified by a marble in a jar, and three marbles will equal one hot drink. Then, someone who is homeless who sees that there are marbles in the jar and can claim his or her hot drink.

The idea of ‘suspended coffee’ schemes like this started in Naples, Italy, and has spread in recent years to America, and now to the UK.

Hip Chichester bakery Whipped and Baked was the first café to offer the scheme in West Sussex (you can read their fantastic blog about how they’ve got on by clicking this link), and its success and simplicity caught the eye of the people behind the ‘Sunny Worthing’ Facebook page.

A logo, a name and a lot of support and spreading the word later, and now several cafés are signed up, including Munch, Rebels Café, St Paul’s, The Strand Bakery, Café 33, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Parlour, Café 7 and the Dinkychino coffee van.

Louise Brooks, of Worthing Churches Homeless Projects, supports the scheme.

She said: “Our day centre is open every morning, but homeless people are often out in the cold all day and there are few other facilities available to them.

“To be able to get a hot drink can keep someone warm and lift their spirits, too.”

Worthing Mayor Bob Smytherman will be at the ‘Share the Warmth’ launch at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Parlour, 44 Goring Road, on Saturday, at midday, and all are welcome.

And if this has made you think of the plight of local homeless people, it’s not too late to join in the Worthing Churches Homeless Projects sponsored sleep-out, also on Saturday. Go to www.wchp.org.uk for more details.

You can follow the progress of the ‘Share the Warmth’ scheme by liking their Facebook page at tinyurl.com/sharewarmth.

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