St Anne’s Day Centre
Tucked away in Kemptown, Brighton, St. Anne’s Day Centre is one of the city’s hidden treasures, with an open-door policy that underpins the warm and welcoming atmosphere within.
After having to pause during lockdown as their premises closed, they have now reopened and provide a takeaway hot meal Monday to Friday and a goody bag with a selection of food and drink to see people through. Around 50-60 people are relying on their provisions, cooked by trained volunteers who turn surplus produce into nutritious meals.
St Anne’s caters for some of the community’s most vulnerable, including those with mental health conditions, homeless people, and anyone experiencing loneliness and social isolation. Before Covid they would serve up breakfast and lunch every day for 60-80 people, making hot and nutritious meals for under 1p per serving, using food from us at FareShare Sussex.
The team work hard to create nutritious food for their guests, and, in 2018 the then Head Cook Shelley won the ‘Food Hero’ award at the Brighton Food & Drink Awards.
Vegetables are transformed into homemade soups, and main meals are always hearty and filling. Dinners of sausages, baked beans and mash are a staple – to keep their guests fuller for longer.
Shelley is now Centre Manager, with two people (Nathalie and Llewi) filling her shoes in the kitchen under a job-sharing arrangement.
Post the Covid-19 lockdown, the street homeless community has begun to return – still benefitting from the temporary accommodation they’ve had since March – but food previously provided is being reduced or withdrawn. We are seeing many of our former clients returning to us for the takeaway we provide, and while they wait to be served they can catch up with news from other temporarily housed men and women. They come here and we show them that they matter with our food- and they are treated with respect.
St Anne’s Day Centre has been feeding and offering a safe space to the community in need for 37 years, which is an amazing achievement but reflects how necessary their service is within Brighton & Hove.