The restaurant that’s helping Birmingham’s homeless

Birmingham’s Opus restaurant has joined forces with local homeless support charity Sifa Fireside.

The city centre restaurant works with Sifa Fireside to provide and cook meals for service users at the drop-in centre.

It has also raised nearly £400 for the charity by donating 50p of every dish sold at its stand during the recent Colmore Food Festival.

Opus’ executive chef Ben Ternent was joined on stage in Victoria Square by Sifa representative Maria Urmos for a live cooking demonstration.

Maria, who has opened her home and heart to Sifa users, also had a chance to share her story to the thousands of festival attendees.

Festival crowds in Victoria Square.

Ben and his team take over the kitchen at the charity’s Digbeth-based headquarters every month to prepare and cook a hearty, hot meal for up to 150 people.

“The Colmore Food Festival was a great platform to promote the incredible work that Sifa is doing in Birmingham,” Ben said.

“The winter conditions are tough times for rough sleepers, but the heat is no treat either.

“It is important that we do everything in our power to ensure that the less fortunate in our city stay fed and hydrated during the summer months as well.

One of the dishes served by Opus at the Colmore Food Festival.

“It’s humbling to see the excellent work that the volunteers do, five days a week, for the people who drop into the centre.

“We’ve all seen the number of rough sleepers rise and we want to do our bit to help.”

Sifa Fireside runs a drop-in service from Monday to Friday and provides an average of 3,404 meals every month.

The centre has shower facilities and fresh clothes for service users and offers support services, including health, legal and welfare advice.

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