Worthing Soup Kitchen: Speedo Mick comes to Worthing to support Shout as charity takes on its first commercial premises
Speedo Mick, one of Britain’s most famous charity fundraisers, is supporting Shout (Street Homeless Outreach) as it moves Worthing Soup Kitchen into its own premises.
The charity was founded by Khristina McCormack at Teville Gate about nine years ago and has grown to provide regular food parcels, furniture, a breakfast club and more from various locations in Worthing.
The SpeedoMick Foundation has agreed £3,000 match funding to help Shout open a zero-food waste cafe in Tarring Road, which will also serve as a base for outreach work and a night reach service.
Speedo Mick, aka Michael Cullen, stopped off in Worthing yesterday to meet Khristina and some of the volunteers to learn more about the project at the former Streets Cafe.
Khristina said: “This will be our first commercial property. The cafe will act as a training platform during the day and then from 5pm to 8pm, we will close it to run the night reach service.
“We have the funding to pay the first year’s rent in advance but we need to raise more money to refurbish the kitchen and totally kit it out.
“Speedo Mick came to meet us on the beach, where he went for a swim. He is a lovely man, very inspiring. He has lived experience of homelessness and this is his way of giving back to people.
“Homeless people are our main priority. It will be run as a cafe every day with clients in recovery working on the premises, which will act as a training platform. They will gain experience and I have work placements lined up so they have somewhere to go on to when they are ready.
“Many of them say the biggest problem for them is having nothing to do, so that will give them the skills and it will also help build a community.”
Shout has also taken on an allotment at Chesswood Farm in East Worthing, which will help provide the basics for the cafe, and Khristina is looking to launch a community fridge as well.
Speedo Mick is coming to the end of a 2,000 mile, five-month trek across the UK and Ireland.
He said: “The reason I’m doing the tour is to give back to the people and the communities who have supported me in the past.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has placed a huge strain on the finances of so many worthy charities and shone a light on how difficult life can be for a lot of young people in this country, whether because of a lack of food, money or opportunities. So I’ll do anything I can to help.
“Homelessness, mental health and disadvantaged young people are issues very close to my own heart as I’ve been through those struggles and I know how hard it is to come out the other side.
“In my life, I’ve been in some dark, lonely, hopeless places and for me, one the most rewarding parts of my fundraising has been to help people who are facing what I have faced.”
Visit www.worthingsoupkitchen.co.uk for more information about Shout.