Preston great grandmother starts her well earned retirement by feeding her soup to the homeless
A kind hearted great grandmother is bringing smiles to Preston's homeless community which is struggling more than most during the pandemic.
Georgette Jones, 69, who retired from her role at Sainsbury's in December, is refusing to spend her retirement with her feet up, and instead goes out six days a week in the city centre to help feed hungry, cold and vulnerable people.
While many people would be spending their retirement making travel plans or relaxing, Georgette, who has five children, has been taking to her kitchen at her home in Dugdale Road, Ingol, to cook soup and chicken to take into Preston.
Sometimes up to 15 people a day receive her food.
When Sainsburys, where she worked for 32 years, learned of her kind gesture, they agreed to support her by donating warm gloves and scarves.
Today the determined pensioner, who lives with retired bus driver David, said: " I'm on the go all the time, I have to have something to motivate me, I'm always busy doing something.
"I can't stay still while people are in need.
"Before I retired they asked what I planned to do and I told them.
"They have donated gloves, sock and scarves."
Each day Georgette gets up and plans a new soup recipe to donate, before putting on her face mask and going into Preston.
She says: "I don't know how much it costs me a week, I don't care. Today I'm making them minestrone and I take rolls.
"Yesterday I made my own chicken and it went down a treat. I fed around 10 people, there were quite a few in the city centre.
"I always start on Orchard Street and go towards Wilkos, then towards the station and back down Friargate - that way I get my 10,000 steps a day.
Georgette says she was struck by the plight of people she saw sitting in the street as she did her shopping.
She added: " You see someone sitting in the cold and think: 'Oh my goodness me.' I want to help them.
"Sometimes it's as if nobody else wants to. One man had made his home from cardboard.
"We are one of the richest nations in the world - it's dreadful. It should not be happening in this country - these are British people.
" I said to him I don't know how you can sit in this cold and he said: "I've got nowhere else."
"They feel that society's let them down. Nobody wants to know."
One man Georgette feeds is a former customer she recognised.
She says: " He was a professor, but something has sent him over the edge. Why does no one talk to him and ask why?
"I felt so sorry when I saw him in different shoes. He is dismissed like rubbish.
"He is a very eccentric but well educated man."
Describing her reasons for dedicating her retirement to helping others she said: " It makes a difference - you might be the only person they have a conversation with that day.
"I like the pleasure of that word 'thank you' - that goes many miles. It's like they've won the lottery when they receive a warm meal.
"I know some of them probably have accommodation, but if they had enough money to survive they wouldn't be sitting on the street - if people say that they are lying to themselves.
"I've never met one nasty person yet."
"One man said it's nice to know people care."
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