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Spitalfields charity survives with aid from volunteers it helped off the streets

PUBLISHED: 22:00 28 July 2011 | UPDATED: 12:42 29 July 2011

Archant

The oldest homeless charity in London’s East End was swamped with visitors to its rare ‘open afternoon’ today (Thurs) to show what it offers the homeless.

The Providence Row organisation opened the doors of its Dellow centre in Spitalfields, which is surviving public spending cuts.

Staff are running services aided by volunteers—many of whom were homeless at one time and were helped by the charity to turn their lives around.

Retired chef Peter Kinniburgh, 70, was on the streets for 18 months until the Dellow centre helped him get a bedsit place of his own near Old Street.

He returns regularly to ‘pay something back’ for the helping hand it gave him.

Peter is pictured in the kitchen serving meals to people on the streets today in need of his helping hand.

Tea and toast is given free to anyone in need, while full-cooked meals are just 50p.

The charity, founded in 1860 by Fr Daniel Gilbert and the Sisters of Mercy in a back alley off Bishopsgate, works to build skills and confidence through trainee schemes, language classes and employment workshops. It helped 6,000 men and women last year alone.

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