Felpham Community College donation to town church

Myles King, Alice Hitchcock, Michael Johnson and Pat Ashman
Myles King, Alice Hitchcock, Michael Johnson and Pat Ashman

HOMELESS people enjoyed a tasty Christmas lunch thanks to students at Felpham Community College.

More than 40 diners sat down to the treat from the Big Love church which was backed with a £500 cheque collected on the students’ last day of term.

They were encouraged to wear casual clothes for a donation.

Half of the money was presented to Big Love founder and pastor Michael Johnson. The other has gone to Stonepillow for its work with homeless and vulnerable people.

Mr Johnson said: “This is only our third donation of money in 2014. We tend to get donations of clothes and food.”

The college’s backing, for its fifth year, is a sign the church – based at the Jeneses Arts Centre in Linden Road – is becoming more established after being formed in 2007.

“We’ve got a new treasurer, a new PR officer and we will be getting a charity number in 2015,” said Mr Johnson.

“We are still feeding 100-200 people a week.

“If a homeless person walks in hungry, we will take them into the kitchen and cook a meal for them immediately

“But we don’t just help the homeless.

“We also help people who live in bedsits in the town centre and in the estates around it.

“It’s all about establishing relationships.

“There’s always an issue in the life of someone who is on the streets.

“Their eyes are dead but if you talk to them about their addiction or other problem, their attitude and aura will start to change.

“Their drinking and drug-taking will become less because you value that individual. Once they realise someone loves them, and gives a damn about them, they will change.”

The college’s cheque was handed over by head boy Myles King, head of charity Becky Coulson and deputy head teacher Pat Ashman.

Mrs Ashman said: “As a school, we feel it is important to support local charities, especially at Christmas.

“The money we have just raised will help provide hot meals on Christmas Day for local homeless people and will also help provide sleeping bags and shelter.”