Last week Oasis Community Housing’s Experts-by-Experience co-production group organised a Spring Lunch for people experiencing homelessness and seeking support at the charity’s Basis Gateshead homeless drop-in centre.

Members of the group made an assortment of sweet treats, quiches and pies for the lunch that was enjoyed by more than 20 people including staff and the people they support. Oasis Community’s coporate partner Komatsu UK kindly funded the ingredients and food for lunch 

One attendee who enjoyed the lunch said: ‘I didn’t expect this at all, I only came in for a shower!’

A Co-Production creation

Cal Distin, Co-Production Worker at Oasis Community Housing, said, ‘The Experts by Experience group came up with the idea of the Spring Lunch and were instrumental in organising, preparing and delivering what was such a special event.

‘Times are really tough at the moment for everyone, especially those who are experiencing homelessness. The group’s eagerness to make a real difference by providing a meal for everyone to enjoy in the drop-in is testament to their drive to have a positive impact on their community.’

As part of our Crisis Service, the Basis homeless drop-ins provide the bedrock for our North East homelessness support. Last year the drop-ins in Gateshead and Sunderland helped people rough sleeping or in housing crisis on 5,278 occasions thanks to donations from generous supporters.

Giving something back

Davey, who attended the lunch as part of the co-production group, found himself sleeping on the streets after experiencing the trauma of a relationship breakdown and the loss of his son. He then found our Basis Gateshead homeless drop-in centre where he began working with staff to get back on his feet.

Read Davey’s full story here >

Keen to support people who are in the position he once found himself in, Davey joined the charity’s co-production group last year and is a regular attendee at the group’s bi-weekly meetings.

‘The co-production group came around through some of the staff here asking people who use the service to setup a group to work towards making the service better,’ said Davey.

‘Hopefully the group is helping, alongside Oasis Community Housing, to make things better for the future.’

Eager to support people who come through the drop-in doors, Davey explained how the Spring Lunch event came about: ‘We had been discussing as a co-production group about putting a Spring Lunch on. It’s just to give something back to the community, a free lunch for people who use the Basis Gateshead drop-in.

‘Most of the people that use the drop-in wouldn’t have got anything at all for Easter, whereas they’re getting a nice little treat just to make them feel a little bit happier.

‘It’s helping people to think they’re not alone out there. That there are people there to help.’

Find out more about the Co-Production group >