Sophie Thompson volunteers at homeless charity

From acting to cooking, Sophie Thompson – who portrayed Mafalda Hopkirk and is also the sister of Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney) – is a multi-talented woman. Now, she has turned those talents toward helping the less fortunate.

She stopped by a café run by the charity Crisis to lend a hand this week. Based in Shoreditch, London, the café employs people who are either homeless or recently re-housed and trains them as chefs. This allows them to learn some new skills, which can help them to find permanent jobs and rebuild their lives.

Thompson won Celebrity Masterchef back in 2014, so she joined the kitchen staff to teach them her pumpkin soup recipe, which would then be served up to customers the next day. She shared her reasons for helping the charity:

I came along today to give my support because I think what Crisis is doing here is amazing – learning new skills like cooking really does give these individuals new hope and focus. Too often the homeless become invisible to the rest of the society – this project puts them firmly back in the public eye and shows they have lots to contribute, given the chance.

She also reminded us all that any of us could face the same situation:

There is a very fine line we all tread between living comfortably and finding ourselves in a predicament like the people here. We should never forget that. [Somewhere] like this, run by people like Crisis, is very inspiring because it puts you right at the baseline of humanity, connecting up with people. We don’t live in a different world. We all live in the same world.

Some of the people Thompson worked beside included Fred and Angela, whose stories prove how much of a difference projects like this can make. Fred was homeless and living rough after returning from working abroad. He is an experienced front of house worker but had lost hope. However, he says that working in the café has given him more confidence to apply for jobs. Angela found herself homeless after moving to the UK from New York to care for a relative, but she has now found a flat and enrolled in a catering course, thanks to this organization.

What do you think about Thompson’s charity work? Have you ever visited the Crisis Café?