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A return to Suicide Sundays in Hastings?

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 lovekitchen hastings, homelessness, hastings council, petition‘If we get shut down then I fear that many regulars will not eat on Sundays’.

Hastings Council has told ‪#‎lovekitchen that, after over 4 months of feeding, clothing and supporting homeless people, it must stop, as the council thinks it is bad for tourism!

Please sign the petition asking the council to allow Love Kitchen Hastings to continue to have a regular stall in Hastings town centre to feed and clothe homeless people.

Chris Oliver, founding member of Love Kitchen, has been in conversation with Hastings Council over the last few week.

“At first they wanted to move us down into an alleyway where we “would not be seen”. I negotiated with them to use the upper circle outside Poundstretcher,” he explained.

“Today they turned up and told us that if we continued we could face prosecution as we did not have a Street Trading Licence. They then said we would not receive one anyway.

“They said that we were also breaking food safety laws but have not explained exactly what is required.

“If we get shut down then I fear that many regulars will not eat on Sunday.

“It has been referred to as Suicide Sunday which is why we come out this day.”

Love Kitchen Hastings was set up by local people in February 2015, after being inspired by Love Activists London, who, over Christmas 2014, occupied a bank in the heart of the West End of London, to shelter, feed and clothe homeless people and highlight the growing issue of homelessness.

Since austerity has been brought in, levels of poverty and people being made homeless have risen to levels not seen for decades.

Now the government plans to make homelessness an even bigger issue, with £12bn of welfare cuts looming and a ban on anyone under 25 receiving any housing benefit.

Which will mean that more and more people will need the support of groups such as Love Kitchen Hastings.

Hastings Council was elected by the people of Hastings and should actively support Love Kitchen Hastings and its objectives – to feed and clothe the homeless.

Many people all over the UK have also set up Love Kitchens, and Brighton Love Kitchen for example is in the heart of the city and has not been stopped.

Love Kitchen member Zeeta Mcbrine said: “I am just shocked at the lack of compassion and support the council have given us.

“We are all human and need the same basic things to survive in this world. Hastings council have already let these people down by allowing the system to discard them onto the streets.

“The council have a duty of care and they have failed each and every one of the people whom come to us, it is now the communities chance to succeed where the council had failed.

“There are many Love Kitchens around the UK that are fully supported by their local councils and I cannot see any reason other than ignorance as to why Hastings Council have taken this unfair and unwarranted decision to close us down and threaten us with prosecution.”

When asked why the action by Hastings Council to shut Love Kitchen down should matter to people, Chris Oliver said: “It would be difficult to count everyone it has helped.

“The people that come up to the table have welcomed the support and some cases come up for the chance to be treated like a human for once.

“Just being spoken to and listened to as normal person is something that many miss out on.”

Please support Love Kitchen, Hastings and help change Hastings Council’s mind.

Please share and sign the petition.

And if you can, come down to Hastings and show your support this weekend, on 5 July.

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