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Bedding down for the night

16 November 2012

THE organisers of the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter are appealing for more than 200 volunteers to help by offering overnight shelter, beds, food, and warmth to the homeless during the coming cold weather. They will be asked to work in three shifts: 6-10 p.m., 10 p.m.-6 a.m., and 6-9 a.m.

The project, which will be open from 5 December to 3 March, was started last year with seven host churches, each church covering one night a week. It proved such a success that it has won an award of £10,000 from Suffolk County Council, which will go towards the funding for the project this year.

That was very good news, the Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, the Rt Revd Nigel Stock, said. "Last year demonstrated the clear need and importance of the project for the community. . . [it] needs considerable planning, and much has been learnt from last year." He said that it was an excellent cause, which all the churches could join in supporting with prayer and practical help.

As before, says the Minister for Church and Community Engagement, Canon Paul Daltry (right, with some of his team), the homeless people will be received as guests by one of the seven host churches. They "will be able to clean and freshen up, enjoy a hot nourishing meal, spend an evening in a warm and safe place, share time in friendly company, sleep in a clean and comfortable bed, and receive breakfast in the morning before they depart for the day".

He says that his team will also work with other agencies in the town to encourage the guests to get help and advice, if possible to find longer-term accommodation, regain self-esteem and dignity, "and return to society as an equal". Besides volunteers, those running the project are also seeking bedding for single beds, toiletries, and new underwear and socks, as well as good secondhand clothes for the homeless people who will be coming.

www.iwns.org.uk

 

 

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