Lifeline for those who live on the margins


Volunteers helping to serve food to the needy Mike Phyall, Marina Stafford, David Le Poidevim, Fiona Buck and cook Eileen Phyall Picture: Tom Cotterill

Winter’s chill can be bitter and harsh – especially for those without a warm home. It’s a time feared by homeless people who are forced to brave the cold and dismal weather. Many feel ignored and isolated, wrapped up in sleeping bags and baggy clothing, while Christmas shoppers pass them in the street. But there is a place that welcomes Portsmouth’s homeless residents with open arms – and hot food. The LifeHouse in Albert Road, Southsea, is one of several charities doing its bit to support the city’s needy. Dozens of volunteers help to run a soup kitchen and barbershop, giving people everything from free roast dinners to burgers, hot dogs and cakes.

Retired Eileen Phyall volunteers with her husband Mike. She oversees cooking meals and says it’s one of the most rewarding jobs she has ever tackled. ‘I have been here for two years,’ adds the former youth offender worker. ‘It’s been challenging but I enjoy it. ‘You just get so much more back from it.’ The site still needs funding and support from the public to help improve its services.

Read more at: The Portsmouth News Article