Ipswich: Help needed to run homeless shelter over Christmas

MORE than 200 volunteers are being urged to come forward to help run an award-winning night shelter for the homeless sleeping rough in Ipswich.

The Ipswich Winter Night Shelter will open in December, offering overnight shelter and hospitality at a town centre church with beds for 12 people.

The project, which successfully launched as a pilot last year, starts on Wednesday, December 5 and will continue until Sunday, March 3.

It was recently recognised with the �10,000 Improve and Prove award on behalf of the Suffolk Foundation and Suffolk County Council.

The Rev Canon Paul Daltry, minister for church and community engagement, said the funding will go towards helping the homeless – and he urged people to help make the shelter a success again in 2012.

Canon Daltry, pictured, said: “The people will be received as guests by one of the seven host churches. Each church will cover a night of the week and will accommodate the guests with help from church members along with volunteers from the community.

“The guests 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 a breakfast in the morning before they depart for the day.”

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Those who would like to volunteer their time should visit www.iwns.org.uk to download an application form. Volunteers will work three shifts – evening until 10pm, 10pm to 6am, and 6am to 9am.

The project is also seeking bedding for single beds, toiletries, new underwear and socks, as well as second-hand clothes for the homeless.

The churches involved are: The Hope Church in Fore Hamlet; the Salvation Army Hall in Bramford Road; St Mary at Stoke, Stoke Street; the Ipswich International Church (Elim) in Barrack Corner; Christ Church/St Pancras Church in Tacket Street; Burlington Baptist Church in London Road; and Holy Trinity church in Back Hamlet.