Every Tuesday, Ian and Jen Sutton cook around fifty-five meals for homeless and disadvantaged adults in and around Cardiff. Before lockdown, they operated from TAVS Centre on Tavistock Street, Roath, which provides a safe space for Cardiff’s homeless population to go and have a hot shower, a wholesome meal, have their laundry done, and be provided with a new set of clothes donated by the public. Since the pandemic began, Ian and Jen have continued to cook the meals from their home.
All too often in life we forget how fortunate we are and being involved in a project like this is a constant reminder that we have been blessed
The preparation and delivery of the meals is a team effort. There is a team of three, supervised by Jen, cooking the meals. Nkini, the project co-ordinator, passes the meal bags onto the six members of the delivery team, who then travel to various parts of the city to deliver them.
The meals themselves vary every week. One week it might be curry, rice and naan bread followed by lemon cheesecake, and the next, a chicken dinner with all the trimmings followed by meringue with fresh strawberries and cream.
Ian says, “These meals are gratefully received and we often get a ‘With Thanks’ card from a very satisfied recipient. All too often in life we forget how fortunate we are and being involved in a project like this is a constant reminder that we have been blessed.”
Ian and Jen recognise that not everyone has the time or energy to get involved in volunteering, so they look on it as a privilege to be part of a worthwhile project which allows them to put something back into their community.
Ian and Jen won the category COVID Volunteer at C3SC’s Cardiff Volunteer Awards for their commitment and passion for supporting some of the most vulnerable in our community. They have gone over and above and we believe that this unseen act of kindness and level of sheer hard work deserves to be recognised, as we can never thank them enough!