HistoryTHE "GRUB ‘N’ GAB" CLUB (INCORPORATING “COVENTRY OPEN CHRISTMAS”)
Please take a look at the Clubs’ logo, a smiling plate face supported by a knife and fork and enclosed within a very simple house/home. This device, we hope, encapsulates the Clubs aims and objectives, which are:
"To provide Food, Shelter, Warmth and Friendship to the Homeless or Lonely"
The Club began after a one night ‘one-off’ venture on Christmas Eve 1991; (One of our founding volunteers uncovered a need for a Christmas Shelter when he was volunteering at the Holy Trinity Christmas Day dinner the previous year. Homeless people were arriving in Coventry overnight simply to spend Christmas day at Holy Trinity. They were subjected to some appalling weather conditions whilst they were waiting for Trinity to open).
Following this “experiment”, it was perceived that there was a gap in the provision of a hot meal for the Homeless on Saturday lunchtimes throughout the rest of the year.
We had gathered a great bunch of volunteers together for our first NightShelter, so much so that they were very keen to start a Saturday dinner service.
With great support of the Reverend Giles Harris-Evans, Canon David Clark and Rev. Andrew Willson, (not forgetting the then Church council of St. Peter’s, Hillfields), we found a venue and initial funding to begin our Saturday meals and the succeeding “Coventry Open Christmas’s”. Christmas 2016 will be our twenty fifth “Open Christmas”!
Informality has always been our key-note in that we have always said that the Club would never be composed of, ‘them and us’ and, as far as possible, our visitors (clients) and our volunteers are one group except where practicalities (e.g. Environmental health etc.) dictate otherwise. We wear no badges; we use only first names and all we ask of visitors and volunteers alike is mutual respect and good manners towards each other.