Kind-hearted soldier’s soup kitchen dream for homeless

Elysia Martin and Rochelle from The Saturdays after day one of filming for the new Christmas advert.
Elysia Martin and Rochelle from The Saturdays after day one of filming for the new Christmas advert.

A soldier from Harpur Hill is trying to raise £15,000 to get a mobile soup kitchen and washroom to help the homeless.

Elysia Martin, of Berwick Road, has been in the army for four years serving with the 29th regiment in Gloucestershire and spends her free time giving clothes and toiletries to homeless shelters.

She recently featured in a very.co.uk Christmas advert after she was nominated by her family for all her hard work, and instead of accepting a prize holiday paid for 100 homeless people to have a Christmas meal.

She said: “I want to continue to help people which is why the soup kitchen is a great idea because it means we can get to the people who need our help the most.”

The van, which would operate in and around the Gloucestershire area where she is based, will have a washroom and facilities for cooking food which Elysia believes will help homeless people feel more safe.

The 27-year-old said: “Just think when we are all tucked up in bed nice and warm, watching TV or eating diner with our family, they are outside all alone, with no money or food.

“Christmas is the hardest time of the year for the homeless. Imagine, through no fault of your own, losing your home and loved ones and being forced to live on the street.

“We are unaware of the simple things we all take for granted like making a cup of tea and running a bath. With people’s help we can make a small difference, but to them it is a huge one.”

She will also be doing various fundraising throughout the year to help her reach the target, adding: “Since the advert I think it has opened people’s eyes to the struggle of others. Even if people can’t donate but they go and buy a person a brew or just say hello to someone living on the streets, that can make the world of difference too.”

To donate, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/elysia-martin.