The Thanet Winter Shelter is appealing for volunteers to sign up for 2018/19.
The scheme will be in its third year when it opens on December 1, running until the end of March.
The project involves church halls in Margate and Ramsgate opening their doors to those sleeping on the street to offer a bed, clothes and food. A key aim of the Shelter is to better equip guests to help them secure and retain longer-term accommodation and to provide practical pathways for training and employment. Unique to Thanet’s Winter Shelter is engaging with Kent’s Mental Health practitioners to ensure guests are referred to the most appropriate primary care/charity sector services for their needs.
The shelter scheme is run by Thanet council, Ramsgate Salvation Army and Homeless Aspire with DWP and Porchlight but can only take place with the efforts of volunteers.
A whopping 1,450 shifts will need filling for this year’s upcoming shelter.
In an appeal on the project website is says: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of The Winter Shelter. We could not open our doors without the commitment and dedication of the hundreds of volunteers who play a vital role each year.
“Sharing your time and effort with both the guests and the other volunteers can be such a rewarding and heart-warming experience with many friendships made not just during the time of the shelter but continuing on from it too. Each volunteer’s story begins when they ask one simple question: How can I help? “
The scheme needs:
- Sleeping night volunteers
- Breakfast helpers
Volunteers will be able to take part in training and information sessions in September and receive a volunteer pack. As December approaches shifts will be confirmed.
Homelessness and Housing advice
If you need help and advice, please go TDC’s Housing information pages.
Shelter in numbers
The 2017/18 shelter ran until March 5 due to severe weather. The scheme achieved:
95 days running time
105 volunteers of all ages, faiths and backgrounds who offered food, companionship and night time supervision.
4,560 hours were donated in kind
Donated time was equivalent to £40,000 on a pay scale
1,829 evening meals
71% of the guests who stayed at the Shelter being helped to a life off the streets
33 of the guests received a medical consultation
12 had structured mental health assessments
1 entered rehabilitation
2 of the guests found employment
3 guests started training
Read here: Meeting the volunteers last year