As we adjust to a new normal, we reflect on the incredible effort by all our partners and volunteers over the last few months.
The Anon Street Team have been supporting people living on the streets for the last 7 years in Norwich and the surrounding area.
Since COVID-19 they have been providing food for 45 homeless people living in temporary accommodation and have recently been awarded the ‘COVID-19 Community Heroes’ Award by the South Norfolk Council in recognition for their community effort during the pandemic. We caught up with Nicila Collier, to tell us more about their operations.
'Anon are one of the soup kitchens feeding the homeless in Norwich city centre and have been operating for 6 or 7 years. We are split into 4 teams and have about 120 volunteers all in all.
We are completely self-funded and rely on our great food partners – Waitrose Wymondham, Waitrose Eaton, Morrisons Wymondham, Lidl Wymondham, Greggs Longwater, M&S Longwater, M&S Sweetbriar and by no means least, Norwich FoodHub. We also heavily rely on the generosity and support of the great communities in Norfolk.'
Since the pandemic, Anon has seen a change to their activities:
'At the start of lockdown, we had to cease our usual Sunday feed due to the fact that it would encourage more congregations. So, we were a team of established volunteers with lots of food coming in but no one to cook for.
Within a few weeks, one of our fellow volunteers (Sonia, who set up and ran a temp volunteer group called Covid-19 support) had found a large number of the homeless that had been temporarily housed in a Norwich hotel and so 6 of Anons Wymondham/Hethersett volunteers got together and each week, we fed 45 twice a week, originally on Mondays and Thursdays, switching to Wednesdays and Thursdays.
We provided hot meals, hot or cold dessert and a snack bag with drinks and sandwich, etc. Other Anon volunteers plus some general public cooked on the remaining days. At the point this group of people had been moved on, lockdown was easing so we did a trial Sunday in the city. We have been there every week since then.
We have had to change how we feed. Previously, we cooked big meals and took it hot to serve onto plates. Now we put it in foils and take to give out, to try and maintain as much social distancing as possible. A lot of our volunteers are of an older age group and support by cooking (and some deliver) but they do not stay to give out. We are feeding 50-70 on the static and approx. 15 from our street walking runs.'
'I am so proud of our volunteers who have never wavered from our goal, which is to ensure we feed as many people who need it for as long as they need it. We also have a commitment to zero waste and on occasion when we get surplus food, we are busy sharing with other soup kitchens and supporting families in need. COVID has been tough and when we have plenty, we share it out.’
A big thank you to all our volunteers for your food collections which help support groups such as The Anon Street Team and congratulations Anon on receiving the well-deserved ‘COVID-19 Community Heroes’ Award!
To find out more about the Anon group, visit:
Or to donate to their Amazon Wishlist, go to: