Every Wednesday Genesis Life Projects hosts breakfast for anyone and everyone at our Gateway centre off London Road. It forms the heart of the week for Genesis, full of life and energy. Lots of people come together to sit down and share a hot meal with tea or coffee. 

In the kitchen two local volunteers cook the hot meals with such precision. Tickets with each order line the top of the oven with pans full of eggs, beans and mushrooms sizzling below. Toast is cooking, coffee is brewing, whilst plates are being washed to keep up with demand. 

There is a place for everyone at the breakfast table. Some guests who have been coming for a while have become volunteers, taking breakfast orders, making coffees and washing up. Their knowledge of how the morning all flows together is key to the busy operation. 

Out front tables full of people eat cereal, yoghurt and fruit whilst waiting for their cooked meals. There is lots of chat between guests with the occasional dog being stroked between the seats. Staff eat alongside the guests, leaving room for conversation to flow. This essential ingredient means last week’s conversation can be built upon and further support can be highlighted when the time is right. 

Lining the sides of the room there is food to be taken home, donated by local organisations. Fresh bread, fruit and vegetables. There are cupboards at the back with other provisions which can be given like clothes and shoes, toiletries and household items. Everything has been thought about for the people who might come along for breakfast.  

These breakfasts sit alongside other meals offered throughout the week which we collectively call Life Connect. These meals not only provide a nutritious meal, but also time to meet in a community setting alongside others. It’s a chance to raise any issues they have, but more than that, the meals offer a welcoming, safe space where guests can feel provided for and listened to.  

Food brings people together, builds strong community and provides social networks that can give people the support they need, whoever they are. Life Connect is a big part of how Genesis delivers their mission, to meet the needs of local homeless and vulnerable people and to journey with them toward a better future.