Staff who will be operating a night shelter for rough sleepers in Worcester this winter are highlighting how local people can help them to help rough sleepers in the city.

The charity Caring for Communities and People, which provides outreach work to rough sleepers as part of its contract with Worcester City Council, is running the shelter from the Salvation Army’s base at The Trinity in Worcester (WR1 2PN).

The shelter will open on every night when temperatures hit zero or below this winter.  And regardless of the temperature, the shelter will be open every evening from 4.30pm to 8.30am from December 24 to January 2 inclusive, to help provide some festive cheer.

People who sleep there will be given sleeping bags, hot drinks, food and advice on longer term housing options.

Ramona Ray, Junior Director at CCP says:  “When freezing temperatures arrive, the work we do can be life-saving.  We head out on to the streets to find rough sleepers and encourage them to head to the shelter.

“In the morning we will talk to the people who stay with us about their housing options and other services that could help them in the longer term.”

“Although people’s thoughts often turn to helping homeless people at this time of year, this is an issue which blights lives 365 days a year,” adds Cllr Adrian Gregson, Deputy Leader at Worcester City Council.

“Our ultimate aim is to help turn lives around so they move on from sleeping rough for good.  There are a number of small but positive things which local people can do to help us to meet this objective.”

How you can help

Donate sleeping bags (for use in the Shelter only).  Donations of new or unused socks, shoes, coats, hats, gloves, torches, phone chargers, pens and pencils are also welcome.  Donations can be dropped at the Salvation Army’s base (The Trinity, Worcester, WR1 2PN).

Don’t give money to people on the street, or offer them tents.  Instead you can donate via Worcester Cares, helping local charities which support rough sleepers.  A small donation can make a big difference.  £2 would pay for a meal – and £5 would provide services to get someone off the street. Donate £2 by texting WORC02 or £5 by texting WORC05 to 70070.

Alert us if you are concerned about someone you have seen sleeping rough.  You can contact the relevant authorities via Street Link  or by calling 0300 500 0914.

Apply to work at the shelter.  CCP are currently recruiting sessional night workers for the Worcester shelter.  Full details at www.ccp.org.uk/hopes-sessional-night-workers-swep

The cost of staffing and running the Worcester shelter – and other Christmas shelters in Gloucestershire – will be covered by funds raised by CCP.  The charity held a fundraising Sleep Out event at the Gloucester Rugby Club on 10 October 2018.  70 business leaders participated, raising approximately £60,000 to help homeless people in the region.