A Nottingham charity has fed over 700 hungry teens in five months.

Castle Gate Nottingham’s Base 51, supported by donations by various shops and restaurants due to funding cuts has provided over 700 hot meals for young people.

Base 51 is a safe space which offers counselling, youth club sessions which are three nights a week and LGBTQ+ sessions one night a week.

The support offered includes violent crimes – such as knife crime whether you are a victim, perpetrator, or witness.

From April to September, they fed 768 meals to young people and gave 809 counselling sessions.

The charity focuses on young people and their various needs.

Head of fundraising and events, Verity Woods, 34, said: “We find in the school holidays they don’t get their free school lunches.

“They even struggle at home with the cost-of-living crisis and bills going up.

“Families are really struggling so its important part of what we do is to make sure we are there supporting with that hot meal.”

The building which has a kitchen space, recording studio, basketball court, dance studio, counselling rooms, gym and more offers a safe space for 11-25 year olds.

Verity said: “When we ask them why they come it is normally for the game types of activities we have so we’ve got a PS4 and pool and air hockey and basketball hoop outside.

“They also say that one of the main things they come in for is for the youth workers.

“They build a really nice relationship with the youth workers, there’s lots of trust there so they can come and talk to them about whatever they are going through.”

The impact that the charity has had on young people’s lives is transformative.

Verity said: “We interviewed one guy who said that he would probably be in prison or dead if we weren’t here because it gave him a positive outlet to go to, to stay off the streets.

“So I think we are changing lives.”

The charity also acts as a food bank for the youth.

Volunteer and engagement coordinator Amy, 40, said, “We do food parcels and that is easily accessible through the services.

“Just yesterday we had a group of young adults that came through and were asking for some food.

“I think they were actually waiting for a youth club to open up, but we managed to sort something out for them.”

Food is used as a way of connecting with the young people at Base 51 and offers them a family-oriented environment whilst cooking.

Amy said: “We cooked pasta and did pasta sauce with them, and the young adults really get engaged in that.

“It also gets them to talk more, it’s relaxing and you forget that you are actually doing it really and you can get quite a lot of information out of them.

“We do obviously have a lot of food parcels, we get them hot drinks and make sure that they are looked after in that sense.”