Artists and band join forces for homeless food van in Brighton
THE LEVELERS and artist duo The Postmen have teamed up with charity to launch a much-needed catering service for the homeless.
Sussex Homeless Support (SHS) has secured backing from Brighton Groups, who have contributed financially and creatively to the charity’s new food van.
The mobile kitchen can now provide hot meals to homeless people in the city, as lack of financial support from local and national government threatened to end the service.
“The only reason we were able to do this was because of funding provided by The Levellers,” said Jim Dean, Founder of SHS.
“I don’t get any funding from the government, so the funding I get from the community is the hub.
“Before this we had a double decker bus that we had set up to feed the homeless in the city, but it broke down every week and left a trail of smoke like you wouldn’t believe, so we decided to get rid of this.”
Rock band The Levellers, who shot to fame in the 90s, raised money at their concerts for SHS and had previously put out requests for particular items, with fans answering calls and taking things away with their shows.
The band’s drummer, Charlie Heather, first became involved with Jim and SHS after the tragic loss of his 15-year-old son in 2018.
“I realized that I myself was a step or two away from being homeless, my life could fall apart. It’s very easy, we’re only a step away from it – getting addicted , losing his job,” he said.
“I just wanted to do something, and my wife met Jim, and so we got involved.”
Speaking about the SHS Food Van, Charlie said: “The Levellers and our fans have raised quite a bit of money for this, thousands of pounds over the last two or three years. And Jim wanted to put the picture of us on the side – so I had the idea of involving The Postmen.
Postmen have now become synonymous with Brighton and Hove for their quirky celebrity designs which appear on things such as high street broadband cabinets, featuring everyone from Green MP Caroline Lucas to Peep Show character Superhans from Channel 4 spotted in the city.
The artists created a piece originally intended to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary last year, but was instead used to decorate the SHS trailer.
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“It’s a huge honor, a privilege,” the unnamed duo said.
The SHS food van will operate every Thursday at The Peace Statue in Hove and every Saturday at The Steine Gardens in Brighton.
“We are a community organization,” Jim said. “What The Levellers funding has done for us is like letting me run in the hills.”