Desperate appeal for volunteers as Thanet Winter Shelter struggles to keep some services open

Shelter manager Alexander Roarke is appealing for helpers

The Thanet Winter Shelter desperately needs more volunteers, particularly for overnight sessions, for it to be able to continue to run services until the end of March.

The scheme, which is in its third year, provides at least 20 beds every night at churches across the isle. Some venues have additional, emergency spaces.

The shelter involves church halls 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.

But Shelter manager Alexander Roarke says it is a struggle at times to keep the scheme running and more help is needed.

He said: “We have two shifts that we are struggling to get volunteers for. One of those shifts if we don’t start getting some volunteers, I’m not sure how we are going to keep the Shelter open.”

Particularly needed are sleep/wake volunteers to give up one night a week, or even just as a one-off. They would sleep at the shelter and would only need to be woken if there was an issue that the supervisor would deal with while the volunteer would sit with other guests.

During the last week the Shelter has seen three of its guests rehoused. It is working with the Thanet Iceberg Project,which helps people find accommodation and helps with the basic needs of moving in. For January the shelter has provided 587 bed spaces.

There are 368 volunteers registered but not all are active. If that number of people covered two shifts each the shelter would reach the March 31 closing date with all shifts covered and six spare.

The Thanet Iceberg project has also launched a fundraiser which will help newly rehoused people with everything from agency fees to a first food shop, electric and gas top ups or even storage.

Find the fundraiser here

Find Thanet Winter Shelter on facebook here

Get in touch with Shelter manager Alexander Roarke on [email protected]

Find the Thanet Iceberg Project here


    • I think ‘Roarke’ needs to contact people personally rather that sending a user-unfriendly form then failing to follow-up volunteers. Happened to me too. Different approach needed.

  1. 368 volunteers when only one church or church hall is used each night. Sounds like more than enough volunteers, but then I am not sure how many are needed each night. Maybe they should not have extended it until the end of March

  2. It’s bewildering that you good people waste you’re time on the scum that riddle you’re street’s with used needles steal you’re belongings to sell for crack herion alcohol the same people who throw every given opportunity of help back in you’re faces by continuing junkie criminal acts,continuing to steal to feed their disgusting habits, you all need to wake up seriously, absolute fools.. 15 years ago I walked away from a £400/£600 a day crack habit before the idiots come back with a cocky comment, I had four workers selling crack and herion 24/7 I supplied the thing these scum crave so I know that side of life, they will except anything off of you clowns they will use their feeble gaunt feel sorry for me crack faces to get whatever they can, you leave you’re wallet or handbag unattended and you will see the realness of what I’m saying, and oh they cannot help it doesn’t wash, they all scum.. You idiots feel like you doing something good for humanity fools,send you’re money to save a donkey or something similar

    • Shame your fighting spirit is unable to forgive these people seeing as you have so much life experience and sorry your unable to have compassion and turn around and help put them in the recovered position youre in.This breather for them can give insight in to how to deal with their ,be it anti social behaviour.Some are not addicts at all and need the break to give them strength to fight another day.

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