Helping the Homeless at Christmas with Routes to Roots

Helping the Homeless at Christmas with Routes to Roots

Whilst it was easy to get caught up in talking about our Christmas Thai Tasting for the past few months, our busiest time of year, we recently worked with a charity that made us all really stop and think…

Last week, our fabulous team of girls from Head Office took time out to cater for the homeless in the Poole area, with an amazing charity called Routes to Roots.

They take in the vulnerable and not only provide a place to build relationships, but also a hot meal, hot and cold drinks, sweet treats, clothing, sleeping bags and even ‘move-in packs’, for those moving into accommodation through their support.

We were approached back in early November for a charitable donation to an event raising money for the local charity, organised by Bugalicious PR, Poole BID and the Poole Bay Rotary Club.

“What a great cause!” we thought! Let’s send a £50 voucher. Then we continued to think about it a little more. That wasn’t enough. There we were talking and talking about our Christmas Thai Tasting menu with all the food you could ever want, ignorant to the fact that there were 300 homeless people in Poole alone. So we donated another £50 voucher and asked what else we could do.

After a lot of back and forth both with Gemma (of Bugalicious) as our middle-woman and between our Head Office Team, we fought desperately hard to overcome the red-tape around donations of food.

Two months later, we had a solution and we arrived in Poole armed with ginormous curry pots and Christmas decorations.

We were greeted at the door by the lovely Rev’d Pat Southgate, who is Founder, Chair & Trustee of the organisation, alongside her friendly team of incredible volunteers there. The team were already setting up a table of cakes, chocolates, biscuits and hot drinks, whilst we got a cooking. The hall soon filled up with 30 guests from the local homeless community, who we invited to seat and took their orders.

Sat in the Poole United Reform Church Hall, with big smiles on their faces and paper hats on their heads, the extra touches got our guests in the spirit and took them a little bit closer to ‘The Restaurant Experience’, with crackers (both prawn & paper), flowers and set tables.

Our team of Thai chefs from Koh Bournemouth cooked up homemade prawn crackers, huge pots of our delicious chicken and vegetable yellow curry with a giant pot of jasmine rice. The yellow is our mildest and creamiest curry, with a rich flavour. If you haven’t tried it yourself – add it to the list! Our mild option meant that the food went down a treat with all of our hosted guests and it was a clean sweep for a second serving.

The feedback: It was the best curry they EVER had!

We should get that on a plaque somewhere… success!

Our very smiley HR Manager, Gemma (pictured above), alongside our Chief Operating Officer, Sophie (pictured below), manned the stove and made sure the curry and rice were plated to perfection. Great work, ladies!

Our Marketing Team, Jade & Hannah, arranged the visit and got stuck in with serving our lovely guests.

Each and every one of the guests was an absolute pleasure to feed and speak with. Whilst we knew that they would be nothing less than kind, polite and thankful, the level of appreciation was greater than we ever imagined. Their kind words really hit home with us, and undoubtedly made the whole experience all the more rewarding.

It made us realise that not everyone is as fortunate at Christmas: the time to celebrate family, home and love, which is what a lot our guests miss out on to a great extent.

So to provide just a relatively small number of homeless people (in the grand scheme of things) with a hot meal and good company was truly heart-warming.

We would love to see other restaurants in the local area get involved with this amazing cause, whether that be catering, fundraising or providing donations (clothes, blankets, etc). If you really want to get stuck in, Routes to Roots are always grateful for new volunteers to help at their various events. Any help is much appreciated!

Please do take a look at their website for more information HERE.

We want to say a huge thank you to Routes to Roots, Pat and her volunteers for having us last week. We hope they enjoyed our company as much as we loved theirs… Because we will definitely be back!