The Southend Churches Winter Night Shelters will shortly be opening for their seventh season!
In the late summer of 2011, Southend Council approached the churches in Southend (through Love Southend) to ask if any church buildings could be made available to host an ad-hoc shelter during any spells of cold weather. Although they couldn’t meet that specific request, three churches were able to provide a shelter one night a week each over the 3 coldest months of the 2011 – 12 winter and helped just over 100 guests by providing an evening meal, a warm bed, and breakfast.
For the last five winters, seven churches were able to provide meals and an overnight shelter for 155 guests in 2012 – 13, 137 guests in 2013 – 14, 125 guests in 2014 – 15, 148 guests in 2015 – 16, and 128 guests in 2016 – 17.
This winter, each week from 29th November to 20th March (16 weeks) will again be covered by seven churches hosting one night a week each.
HARP will be allocating guests (20 maximum each night) to the shelters by using an agreed referral process. Therefore, potential guests should be asked to go to HARP’s Bradbury Centre (in York Road) before 2pm (Monday – Friday only). We please request that they are not directed to the individual shelters as there may not be room.
Donations are always very welcome and will be used by the churches to buy food, personal necessities and clothes (e.g. toiletries, scarves, gloves, hats, socks, underwear, etc.), and to pay for the additional gas and electricity that they will be using over the winter.
We also need volunteers at each host church:
– for evening shifts (approx. 18:30 – 22:00);
– especially for overnight shifts (approx. 22:00 – 07:00);
– for breakfast shifts (approx. 06:00 – 08:00); Andy
– to supply/cook evening meals
(2 courses for approx. 30 guests and volunteers).
If you can help or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact
John Simmons (the Shelter Co-Ordinator)
on 07866 740065 (09:00 – 23:00 only please),
or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .