The Dunloe Centre
at St Saviour's Priory, 18 Queensbridge Road, London E2 8NS
Sisters of the Society of St Margaret
For over one hundred and fifty years the Society of Saint Margaret has served communities across the East End from their base at St Saviour's Priory, Haggerston. The Dunloe Centre's ministry among the most vulnerable of our neighbours is simply the most recent outworking of that call to serve. Recognising the deep need that still exists even in the gentrifying City fringe of London, the Centre exists as a way of meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who have felt left behind by the increasing prosperity and frantic change of the area over the past two decades. In small and practical ways the Dunloe Centre seeks to reach and ameliorate the lives of their diverse and increasing group of clients. The work is based at St Saviour's Priory in Queensbridge Road and is entirely supported by the Sisters, along with a band of volunteers receiving voluntary contributions and kind gifts from local churches, organisations and individuals.
Some volunteer testimonies:
There are two questions that I ask over and over every Tuesday I have worked at the Dunloe Centre: "What would you like to eat today?" and "We can give you three food items today - what would you like?" And there is another statement I make over and over, "Sorry - we've run out of that particular item. Is there something else I can get you?" Because of the overwhelming generosity of our donors and benefactors I have never turned anyone away empty handed. It is important always to ask guests what they need and want, to give them a choice in the matter.
Some of those who come to the Dunloe Centre are homeless, nowhere to live; some are just lonely or can't manage to cope with life. I love to listen to their stories. What I try to do is create a warm welcome and a sense of home.
I make the tea. It must be strong otherwise eyebrows are raised. Our folk appreciate a "proper cup of tea" unlike the straw-coloured offerings the posher cafés in Hackney serve nowadays. The food is greatly appreciated, so too the company as people settle down to play cards and talk... It's good to be able to serve people in this way, to engage in conversation with those less fortunate than we are. Every week we encounter Christ in the poor and marginalised, people with addictions, who are homeless, living on the street or in temporary accommodation.
The Dunloe Centre
A drop-in centre for the homeless and those in need. The centre offers hot food, tea, clothes and bedding; groceries to take away; as well as a warm welcome, friendship and support. ALL FREE.
THE DUNLOE CENTRE always needs the following:
TINNED FOODS (ring pull for preference)
Corned beef and meats of all kinds.
Soups (all flavours), baked beans, spaghetti in tomato sauce.
Fruit, rice pudding and custard.
Vegetables (chick peas and pulses are the least useful)
Cup-a-soups, potnoodles and instant noodles.
TOILETRIES (mostly for men)
Shower gel, shampoo, soap, deodorant, face flannels
Disposable razors, shaving cream, pocket-size packs of tissues
Shoes (especially trainers)
Boxer shorts, underpants, socks, T-shirts
Jeans, track suit bottoms.
Woolly hats, baseball caps, belts, gloves
Sleeping bags, duvets, covers (all sizes)
Sheets, pillows, pillow cases
Tin openers, cutlery, mugs, electric kettles
Empty ice-cream containers, Tupperware (for takeaway meals)
Plastic carrier bags (all sizes)
The Sunday Stall
most Sundays 9.30am-1pm (phone to check*)
Open to all, the stall offers good quality second-hand goods at affordable prices. As well as bargains, customers can find support from each other and can enjoy the quiet of the cloister garden and the Chapel.
MOST POPULAR items are:
Clean household linen and bedding
Kitchen equipment (crockery, pans and utensils)
CDs and DVDs
Clean clothes (men, women, toddlers, babies)
Toys and games
1. Plastic carrier bags are always useful!
2. The Dunloe Centre is unable to sell electrical items, but does give away lamps, toasters, electric kettles and radios to people setting up home.
3. The centre can find a home for most things provided they are clean and in good working order. Unfortunately, they can not accept donations of large items of furniture, preferring small deliveries as storage is a problem.
4. The centre regrets it is unable to collect goods.
5. The best delivery times are Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5pm (or phone to make an appointment*).
The Dunloe Centre is run by St Saviour's Priory which is a registered charity (number 230927) and does not receive funding from any official body. If you would like to make a financial contribution to enable this work to continue, it would be gratefully received. Please make cheques payable to "St Saviour's Priory". If you are a UK tax payer and would like to make your donation go further, please ask for a Gift Aid form.
*For more information about the Dunloe Centre or to make a contribution, in cash or kind, contact Sr Elizabeth at the Priory.
020 7739 9976