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Soup kitchen volunteers attacked in Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 16:22 04 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:40 08 March 2017

A group of volunteers have set up a mobile soup kitchen that is now operationg in Yarmouth.
David Cosby, Gary Ward, Victoria Seabright, Jake Filby and Diane Haworth.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

A group of volunteers have set up a mobile soup kitchen that is now operationg in Yarmouth. David Cosby, Gary Ward, Victoria Seabright, Jake Filby and Diane Haworth. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

©archant2017

Soup kitchen volunteers have described their ordeal after they were alledgedly attacked while they tried to help the homeless.

Youths on bicycles approached the Tribal Trust’s minibus kitchen in Great Yarmouth’s Market Place on Friday evening at about 7.30pm. The volunteers were serving food at their weekly soup kitchen when there was an altercation when one of their cars was kicked and punched by a youth.

Diane Haworth, 43, from Tribal Trust said they asked them what they were doing and then a group of young people started shouting at them and the homeless people, before more turned up on bikes.

The Hopton mum said she was punched in the face and received bruises to her face and her glasses were broken in the alleged attack. A homeless man who intervened was then attacked by three young people.

She said she was still shaken by the incident, and they went straight to the police station to report the assaults.

“One of the homeless ladies was shaking, it makes them very anxious.

“We had some new faces there too which was nice before this happened.”

She added it was not the first time they have been targeted, as a couple of weeks ago young people came with laser pointers which they deliberately shone in theirs and the homeless people’s eyes.

Norfolk Police have been contacted for a comment.

The Tribal Trust is a group of volunteers who are on hand to help rough sleepers in Great Yarmouth town centre, operating out of a converted minibus.

Their aim is to get out and about every two to three days once they have more volunteers who are qualified to help, but Mrs Haworth said they may have to reconsider if the violence continues.

A trained key worker and support worker, she knows better than most some the difficulties faced by those she helps, suffering from PTSD and anxiety and having been homeless herself. Speaking in January when the project launched in Yarmouth, she said: “I understand where they are coming from, I’m not just a worker.”

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