Former Ratton pupil helps the homeless

Dai Hurford
Dai Hurford

A former Ratton pupil is helping feed the homeless on the streets of London – after keeping Armed Forces going through the summer’s Olympic Games.

Dai Hurford is part of the Royal Air Force No 3. Mobile Catering Squadron (3MCS).

As part of the first ever UK-wide Sleep Out in support of Centrepoint, the charity for young homeless people, the team set up and ran a field kitchen to fortify with food the 850 volunteer sleepers in Exchange Square, Broadgate.

Celebrities and members of the public spend one night on the street each year to raise awareness and sponsorship money for the charity.

Comedian Tim Vine and singer Eliza Doolittle entertained the sleepers on the night, along with host Richard Madeley and Radio 1 DJ Sara Cox and music from Stooshe .

Centrepoint’s Sleep Outs aim to raise more than £250,000 to support homeless people aged 16-25 with accommodation, learning and health.

3MCS based at RAF Wittering in Lincolnshire provide catering, accommodation management and laundry services to all Armed Forces personnel on operations around the world.

Previously based at RAF Honington in Suffolk with 2 Squadron RAF Regiment as a field caterer, Senior Aircraftsman Dai Hurford, 22, finds himself in his first year supporting the ‘Sleep Out’ event.

Dai said, “Since I joined, the Squadron has got bigger, it’s great to be apart of the 3MCS team.

“The Olympics was 24 hour feeding for the troops, there was always at least one servery open and you need to keep an eye on the equipment as opposed to this event where we are here just for one night.

“Wherever they are working 3MCS help keep morale high and maintain healthy, fit troops able to carry out the tasks required of them.

“They say an Army marches on its stomach and that’s true!

“We cook for all the three services and it’s great getting positive feedback – a lot of the guys coming through say it’s the best food they’ve had while being in the services.”