Our business is registered near Camberley in Surrey and although we’re a small company it was really important to us that we help a local organisation from the outset. We believe every company, large or small, has a social responsibility to support the local community as much as possible. Our Armed Forces background and previous interest helping the homeless resulted in us quickly finding The All Night Café in Camberley who provide food and shelter for veterans and those in need.
The All Night Café began in 2015, with a vision for reaching veterans and the homeless. Completely set up and run by a team of dedicated volunteers, with no statutory funding or formal support, the cafe’ relies on goodwill, enterprise, community fundraising and donations of food, volunteer time and financial benefactors with a passion for the community.
The Cafe’s biggest costs are hire, domestic supplies and maintaining the building to ensure they can sustain their service and support to the homeless for the long term.
Keen to help, I had a meeting with Carole in early 2017 in order to see where my family and I could assist, and how if possible, our small business could support their cause.
Carole, a most wonderful and selfless person, runs the Café and informed me there are a few ways in which people or businesses in the local community can support:
Become a volunteer The All Night Cafe’s success and service, is down to their volunteers who make things happen. They have a range of opportunities to be part of a first class team. Being a volunteer means working alongside other skilled and committed teams, receive on-going support and attending monthly training and team communication workshops. If you would like to be part of this, please download their volunteer’s form and contact them to arrange a time to meet and get started.
Donate high use items There are obviously a lot of produce and cleaning supplies consumed, and as such The All Night Café relies on the goodwill of the local community and supermarkets donating high use items. If you’d like to donate produce and/or cleaning products, the following items can be delivered by supermarkets, or you’re more than welcome to drop them off at The All Night Café Scout Hall in person:
|HIGH USE ITEMS|
|Frozen: sausages, burgers, vegetables, oven chips, catering packs, meats, chops, mincemeat.|
|Bacon, butter/margarine, cheese, cheese spread, hams.|
|Fruit squash, canned or economy fizzy drinks.|
|White sugar, coffee granules, tea, long life milk cartons, spray cream or long life cream.|
|Tinned hot dogs, tuna, meatballs, fruit in juice or syrups.|
|Pastries, snack packs, crisps, choc bars, biscuits etc.|
|Black bin bags, washing up liquid, anti bacteria and spray cleaners, toilet rolls, kitchen rolls.|
|Self-inflating roll mats, mini self-inflating pillows, rucksacks, holdalls.|
The above list is excellent in any combination and there’s absolutely no obligation to try and provide everything. Any and all donations are gratefully received irrespective how big or small.
Local business support, Sponsorship, Fundraising or Grant Schemes The All Night Café are looking for businesses to help sponsor the Café project and would love for you to get involved.
Whether it’s branding, fundraising, volunteer time, help maintain the building, specialist fundraising or sponsorship events, they’d appreciate your help. Their financial challenges are to maintain monthly rent and cost of supplies as they’re not statutory funded and don’t receive any financial support from local authorities. This is a good position because it allows them to be practical and responsive dealing with emergencies and helping people at grass roots level. If you think you can help support The All Night Cafe, please make contact with them directly.
So, all in all, it was a great first meeting with Carole, I really got a feel for her passion and the support she needs in order to continue to provide food and shelter to our veterans and those less fortunate in the surrounding areas.
It’s given us a lot to think about, as a family and as a small business as to how we can support The All Night Café – more to follow…