Guests to the Capuchin Centre were treated to a pleasant surprise when 42 staff members from three Dublin based Radisson Blu Hotels were cooking and helping to serve
1,000 meals to the capital’s people in need.
The Capuchin Day Centre provides a safe, warm and comfortable environment for people to retreat to, and with the growing increase of people in need, their services are required more than ever. Each morning of the week the Capuchin Day Centre provides breakfast for approximately 300 people and a full lunch in the afternoon for 600 from its premises at the back of the Capuchin Friary on Church Street in Dublin’s inner city. The service is provided completely free of charge for people who are homeless or in need. In addition, the centre also distributes 1700 food parcels every Wednesday to those on the poverty threshold who are finding it difficult to feed their families. Other simple means such showers, clothing and a variety of medical, dental and social services are also provided for people who are finding life difficult.
Staying true to the world famous hospitality of Radisson Blu Hotels, staff took some time out from their regular morning routine and instead began their day this morning by serving a full Irish breakfast to Dublin’s homeless. Later in the afternoon they were back in the kitchen again at the Capuchin Day Centre on Bow Street to prepare and serve a nutritious and delectable lunch with all the trimmings. While the quality of the meals service in the Centre is always excellent, the menu prepared by the chefs from the Radisson BLU today certainly seemed to please and lift spirits.
Amongst the volunteers was Pat Cussen, District Director for Radisson Blu Hotels in Ireland. Commenting on the initiative, Pat said, “the Capuchin Centre is a charity very close to my heart. The daily conditions these families and Dublin’s homeless community face and endure is incredible. Some of life’s simplest yet essential things such as food and shelter are taken for granted by so many of us. Following the success of our visit to the centre last year, we are delighted to return and help out once again. This year we have doubled the amount of volunteers who have willingly given up their time to get involved.”
“Today’s initiative is part of Responsible Business Month at Radisson BLU which encourages all employees to give something back by getting involved with a local charity throughout the month of September”, he added.
Brother Kevin Crowley, founder of Capuchin Day Centre for people in need said “Before the collapse of the economy in 2008 the number of meals and food parcels provided by the Centre was 157,000 compared to the 360,300 parcels distributed in 2014, equating to a significant increase of 230%. Weekly orders regularly include nappies, baby food and children’s clothing and when working to satisfy such basic needs, the centre must always try to protect the anonymity of the people and help them to preserve their dignity.”
“It saddens me to see parents leaving here each day with young children not knowing where they will lay their heads at night. We must consider the long term effects these living standards have on the future generations - where can they do their homework or play in a tiny hotel room with no facilities? It is a tremendous challenge both financially and physically to keep the Centre going and without the charitable efforts such as the Radisson are providing today, we could not continue to offer our services,” he added.
The Radisson BLU initiative is part of their annual Responsible Business Month which takes place throughout the global organization every September.