Sally Army ‘at the double’ for St Albans homeless

Salvation Army volunteers hand out hot meals to the homeless at their hall in Victoria Street.

Salvation Army volunteers hand out hot meals to the homeless at their hall in Victoria Street. - Credit: Salvation Army

The St Albans corps of The Salvation Army is stepping up its efforts to help both the homeless and an ever-growing number of families finding themselves in desperate straits as the cost of living crisis begins to take its grip.

Every night, a queue of homeless clients can be found at their Victoria Street hall, waiting for a hot meal prepared in the kitchen by volunteers of the Centre 33 charity. Daytime visits to the Army’s food bank are rising almost by the week and with utility bills and fuel costs spiralling out of control, more families are being drawn into the poverty trap.

Salvation Army volunteers hand out hot meals to the homeless at their hall in Victoria Street.

Salvation Army volunteers hand out hot meals to the homeless at their hall in Victoria Street. - Credit: Salvation Army

Last Christmas, the Army delivered more than 270 food and toy parcels to those listed as struggling families by Social Services but needs are becoming more pressing by the day.

To raise much needed cash to help meet this cry for help, the Salvation Army’s pastor, Lieutenant Wan Gi Lee joined three elderly pensioners on a 100 mile sponsored cycle ride through Normandy, which raised close on £2,000.

Salvation Army’s pastor Lieutenant Wan Gi Lee took part in a 100 mile sponsored cycle ride through Normandy.

Salvation Army’s pastor Lieutenant Wan Gi Lee joined three elderly pensioners on a 100 mile sponsored cycle ride through Normandy. - Credit: Salvation Army

Salvation Army’s pastor Lieutenant Wan Gi Lee took part in a 100 mile sponsored cycle ride through Normandy.

Salvation Army’s pastor Lieutenant Wan Gi Lee joined three elderly pensioners on a 100 mile sponsored cycle ride through Normandy. - Credit: Salvation Army

Now, they’re moving on a second front, this time with a concert by one of the country’s finest brass bands to be held on Saturday (June 11). Hearing of the urgency of the appeal, the visiting London Fellowship Band have forfeited their fee and St Alban and St Stephen Catholic Church in Beaconsfield Road have offered their building free of charge.

The programme is designed to suit every taste with marches, negro spirituals, jazz and big band music all included. The concert starts at 7.30 and tickets can be obtained at the door at just £5 each.

The London Central Fellowship Band are performing a fundraising concert for St Albans Salvation Army.

The London Central Fellowship Band are performing a fundraising concert for St Albans Salvation Army. - Credit: London Central Fellowship Band

Lieutenant Lee told the Herts Advertiser: “St Albans is so often looked upon as an affluent city but the truth is that poverty, debt, struggling families and homelessness are ever present. Increasingly, they are looking for a helping hand and a way out. Your support can bring a real difference to so many lives.”