Street spirits

After a day doing stuff in St Laurence and Milton wards I paid an overdue visit to Street Spirit Southend. They set up every Saturday evening in the Clarence Road car park, from 8pm. They do this to provide hot drinks and food to some of the many homeless in Southend-on-Sea. I had a good chat with a number of those who help, including Caroline Fricker who set up Street Spirit Southend last February, although she said that it was April before they were properly established. Caroline told me that the name of the organisation comes from the incredible ‘spirit’ shown by the homeless.

More about them can be found on Facebook. I was joined by Cllr Kevin Robinson (Labour, Westborough), and I think we both took a lot from our visit. Clearly a small and dedicated band of helpers are doing a great deal for some of the most vulnerable people in the borough. I would not have described last night as warm, but it was sobering to consider that as chilly as we were after our hour’s visit, we have had a reasonably mild winter thus far.

Earlier in the week ….

Out delivering leaflets in Blenheim Park ward. As I was wandering up one footpath, out pops a man in a white van. “Is that rubbish?” he asks, referring to the leaflet I am about to put through his letterbox. “No”, I responded, handing him the leaflet “it is from your local Labour Party”. “It is rubbish then” he replies. At that, I grabbed the leaflet back and said as I turned to go to the next door “I will give it to someone else who will read it then.” By contrast, later I was delivering to his neighbours across the way, when one pops out “Julian!” says he, “how nice to see you”.


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