An 11-year-old boy, who was saddened by the plight of a rough sleeper on a Dorset street has made pizzas for homeless BCHA customers.
Frankie Kidney and his family from Corfe Castle, set up their mobile pizza business Purbeck Pizza Box and served food at BCHA supported housing in Lansdowne Gardens, Bournemouth.
BCHA was set up 50 years ago and offers homeless people across the South West support through housing, health, learning and work.
Frankie contacted BCHA to explain how he and his family wish to use their family business to give something back to the community.
“About two years ago, I was Christmas shopping with my Dad and I saw a homeless man sitting outside a shop with everything he had, which was basically a few bits of food and a sleeping bag.
“So, I spoke to my Dad, we went to buy the man some food and he was really grateful and happy.
“We may take a Coke and a pizza for granted, but for homeless people, it’s a big thing.
“My dad loves making pizzas and I want everyone to have equal rights and not for some people to have lots of money and some people only to have a few pennies – so we kind of merged both of our ideas.
“We have already held three pizza events across Dorset and then we contacted BCHA and here we are making pizzas for the homeless people they help.”
The family set up a gazebo and their wood-fired oven, and baked 100 fresh, Italian style, Neapolitan pizzas.
Frankie’s grandparents Tina and Andrew Kidney and family friends Megan Kingsby and Tracey Ricketts also helped out.
BCHA customer Simon said:
“It’s nice to know Frankie and his family want to help people and the pizzas are delicious.”
BCHA customer Jack agreed:
“The pizza is great. Some of the best I’ve eaten. It’s been good to meet Frankie and chat to his dad Tim.”
Frankie’s father Tim Kidney said:
“The event has been brilliant. There’s a really nice vibe about this house in Lansdowne Gardens and we’ve also had lots of people come from BCHA properties all over to get pizzas.
“To know that Frankie is at the front, talking to people and looking them in the eye and understanding their feelings and their story is really empowering for an 11-year-old boy. He has a soft side and I’m very proud of him.
“It’s also great that we do this alongside our family business. We’re loving it and we’ve already got ideas for making this into something a bit bigger. I think this is something we will continue to do to help the homeless and vulnerable across Dorset and The Purbecks.”
Support worker Hannah Brightman, who runs the BCHA supported housing in Lansdowne Gardens and also nearby at Dorset Lodge, said:
“It’s been wonderful to welcome Frankie and his family and show all the residents that people are thinking about them.
“Our customers have complex lives and they struggle. So, to be noticed and considered like this is really nice.”
Martin Hancock, chief executive of BCHA, said:
“We are all extremely impressed by Frankie’s commitment to the community and for his and his family’s love, concern and care for homeless people.
“Events like these also break down barriers and perceptions and help us understand that people who find themselves homeless at times in their life, have had a better life before and can again in the future.”
Frankie and his family have set up a JustGiving page to fund the project and have already raised enough money to cover the costs of their next 10 free events.
For more information, please visit: www.bcha.org.uk.