A CHARITY which provides hot meals to an increasing number of homeless people in York has won a national award and a £1,000 prize.

The money has gone to Hoping York Street Kitchen, which is run by volunteers and is funded entirely by donations from the public.

Founder Kym Brown says it lives hand to mouth and so the £1,000 was ‘brilliant for us.’

She said: “It will buy raw ingredients for our casseroles, as well as bedrolls, sleeping bags and vital toiletries. This will see us into winter, guaranteeing meals for a few months, so we are enormously grateful.

“We are still dependent on the wonderful generosity of the public but this is a boost both practically and emotionally. It really does help.”

The ‘Nation’s Choice Award 2019’ has come from a UK-based, non-profit travel booking website, www.HotelsThatHelp.co.uk, which says it has no paid staff and no offices, with100 per cent of the money it made being used to help people escape homelessness.

It said Hoping participated in a voting contest and finished first out of 24 homelessness charities from across the UK, after receiving almost 1,000 votes from the local community.

Founder Thomas Nevitt, who will be visiting Hoping York Street Kitchen in September to present the award, said: “I couldn’t imagine a more worthy winner. The commitment of these volunteers is truly inspiring.”

He said he had seen just how damaging homelessness could be, especially for young families and the national problem had been getting more serious every year.

He said: “Far too many homelessness charities are struggling to cope with increased demand for their services. That’s why Hotels That Help was established.”