03:45PM, Friday 16 October 2020
Volunteers continued their support of Slough’s homeless community by serving hot meals, handing out hygiene packs and having conversations to mark World Homeless Day.
The annual awareness event took place on Saturday, coinciding with World Mental Health Day.
Homelessness support charity Slough Outreach was joined by members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the Antz after-school club from St Anthony’s Catholic Church.
They set up shop in Slough High Street, handing out food, essential goods and face masks to those in need.
Shin Dother, founder of Slough Outreach, said this year’s COVID-19 pandemic has increased people’s understanding of how easily people can fall upon hard times.
He said: “People are more aware of what homelessness is.
“With the COVID-19 crisis we’ve got, people are waking up to the fact that it could happen to anyone. It’s good to know that people are waking up but it’s still out there.”
He added that talking, listening and giving people a sense of belonging were all key ways to support the homeless community.
“Mental Heath Day doesn’t happen just one day, it’s every day but it’s nice to have people coming together.
“It’s about getting people together to say that we’re all the same, we’re all one and we all have our difficulties.
“You don’t need to struggle alone and the message is ‘let’s talk’.”
President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Slough, Atiq-Ahmad Bhatti said: “The coronavirus pandemic has left so many feeling confused, alone and in difficult financial and social circumstances.
“Our commitment is to help as much as we can to alleviate their worries and anxieties and this forum was just one small way of reaching out to the community and giving out the message that we are here to help, support and comfort them during this unprecedented times.”
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