Food & Drink Tuesday, February 27th

How One Caff's Helping Hereford's Homeless Keep Warm

Food & Drink Tuesday, February 27th

How One Caff's Helping Hereford's Homeless Keep Warm

“It’s a beautiful day,” started Ben from the Rocket café in his latest Facebook video. But instead of breaking out in to a rendition of the anthemic U2 track, he chose to follow up with the more understated, “but very cold.”

Unlike Bono, whose charity often comes with an on-stage 20-minute lecture halfway through ‘With or Without You’, Ben’s mission was a simple one.

Let’s keep people warm.

It might have escaped you amid the intermittent flurries and more frequent news bulletins about snow stopping traffic on the M2, but the UK is currently experiencing what us Brits politely refer to as ‘a bit of a cold snap.’ And it’s not going anywhere.

Today the thermometer spent a good deal of time in minus numbers. Tomorrow is due to be colder still with temperatures overnight expected to reach -6, and things are likely to stay in -2 to 6-degree range for around a week.

For most of us this is an inconvenience. It means warming the car up five minutes early, and having our social feeds over-run with hundreds of Boomerang videos every time there’s a dusting of snow.

But for some – the elderly, or in particular, the homeless – it’s serious. And it’s grim. And a week is a hell of a long time to stay warm.

 Which is why yesterday Ben took to Facebook, filmed from the kitchen of Church Street café/restaurant, with a simple idea.

Over the next week, if you can afford it, add two pounds to your bill.

“[Then] anyone who comes in shivering – or I’ll probably drag them in – that couple of quid will buy them a bit of soup. They can come in and warm up. Or just a coffee.”

In the 24 hours that followed, the response was heart-warming.

“It went from a cup [where the money was stored] to a mug to a pot - and that’s meant it’s not going to be just food,” Ben said in a follow-up today. That pot already had £150 in it.

“It’s going to be sleeping bags, hats, coats, that kind of thing.”

The café is now also taking clothes donations, blankets, anything you want to help out with, and will work with St Peter’s church to see that they find themselves to those who really need them.

And as if you needed another reason to head down for the best flat white and soul soundtrack in town, they’re still filling up that pot, £2 at a time, and they’re still making soup.

“We work on that kind of basis, lets help each other out while its cold.”

Head to The Rocket's FB page for more, of go down in person to 24 Church St, Hereford, HR1 2LR. And order a pizza.

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