AROUND 60 people are supported by Wyre Forest homeless charity HELP each week - and many of them say they owe their lives to the group's volunteers.

The charity has helped some of them off the streets and into accommodation, got others the support they need to recover from addiction, and makes sure all of them have a hot meal at least two nights a week.

On Monday, The Shuttle joined a team of HELP volunteers as they took their night kitchen service to the streets of Kidderminster and Stourport.

The charity's usual night kitchen at the Age UK centre remains closed due to coronavirus, but volunteers continue to provide around 60 meals every Monday, Wednesday and Friday night to people in need.

One service user, who is currently homeless, told The Shuttle he would "probably be dead" without the charity.

He said: "For some of us, this is all we get to eat. What the volunteers do for us is amazing."

Another of the charity's service users, a woman who was born and raised in the town, told how she was living on the streets for seven years until HELP supported her to find a flat.

She said: "I ended up homeless after the bedroom tax was brought in.

"People assume we're all just drug-using beggars, but I was evicted because I couldn't afford to pay my bills and I got behind on my rent.

"HELP has definitely changed my life for the better. We don’t get help anywhere else – I’d be lost without them."

Another woman told The Shuttle how HELP supported her to get clean when she had problems with addiction.

"I was in rent arrears because I had issues with alcohol and drugs. It caused me a lot of issues," she said. "HELP have really gone above and beyond. It's not just the food they give people. They helped me to get an appointment to see someone about my alcohol problems.

"I'm now back in touch with my family and I can see my kids and grandkids again.

"I would be homeless and still using if it wasn't for them. They helped me get back on track."

Now, with more people needing the charity's services than ever before due to the coronavirus pandemic, HELP is relying on donations from members of the public to step up its services.

To celebrate The Shuttle's 150th anniversary this year, we're aiming to raise £10,000 to fund a new van for HELP, which would allow the charity to collect more donations to help more people in need, and accept bigger donations such as furniture and household appliances.

Charity founder Dave Griffin said: "What we want to do next is be able to help more people get off the streets and into accommodation.

"Once we have the Shuttle Run van, we’ll be able to take donations of furniture to help people coming off the street get back on their feet.

"We can help them find somewhere to live, but they’re starting from scratch with nothing. They need a bed, some bed sheets, curtains, a microwave.

"This would be a huge help for us - we just don't have the capacity to collect and store those donations at the moment."

HELP trustee, district councillor Shazu Miah, said: "There is a story behind every service user. You only get to fully understand that when you see firsthand all the good work that HELP does and speak to the people who need this support."

Fellow trustee Councillor Fran Oborski added: "The charity needs all the donations it can get. There is so obviously a need for this service in this area and Covid has really not helped the situation.

"They say people are only two pay cheques away from being made homeless and that is really frightening. It could happen to anyone.

"We want to say thank you to everyone who supports HELP, especially those donating towards the Shuttle Run Appeal."

Our appeal is inching closer to the halfway mark, with the fundraising total currently standing at £4,729.

If you can make a donation - no matter how small - towards the Shuttle Run Appeal, visit

Cheque donations can be sent to Kidderminster Shuttle, Second Floor, Copthall House, 1 New Road, Stourbridge DY8 1PH. Make them payable to HELP and write SHUTTLE RUN on the back.

Bank transfers should go to HELP, Lloyds Bank, account number 38430260, sort code 30-91-91.

Let us know how you're supporting the appeal by emailing