Since 2010, the Selig Trust has been running the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter (IWNS), which provides an overnight shelter during the three coldest months of the year, hosted each night by one of seven town centre churches.
Throughout the coldest months of the year, the shelter provides 12 guests with a hot nourishing evening meal, a warm and safe place with friendly company, a clean and comfortable bed and a good breakfast in the morning. The shelter runs 7 days a week, including Christmas and New Year.
For the first time, Selig are employing a full time, year-round Support Worker to help their guests rebuild their lives. The Support Worker will work to identify suitable Night Shelter guests, provide signposting and follow-up for each individual case, and liaise with other key agencies that also work with the homeless.
As part of the continuing process of maintaining and improving the Night Shelter, Labour County Councillors have provided the charity with £2,500 of their Locality Budget funds to buy bedding, laptops, desks, chairs and first aid equipment.
Julia Hancock, the Night Shelter’s Manager said, “The IWNS was formed 6 years ago by a group of people who wanted to meet the needs of those people who are homeless. This group included a social worker, a vicar and a school registrar. Since then, our organisation has grown. We now have 7 trustees and over 300 active volunteers from across the whole of Suffolk.”
Miss Hancock continued, “We work to ensure that people who are homeless have somewhere warm and safe to stay throughout the winter months. And we work to help them to get off the street and rebuild their lives.”
Mandy Gaylard, Labour Spokesperson for Communities said, “The number of people sleeping rough in Ipswich has hit its highest level for at least five years and the funding for important charities that provide relief for this problem – be it from Government or the County Council – is only getting lower. The dedicated volunteers at the Night Shelter provide a vital service, supplying shelter and comfort during the harshest months of the year. More than that, by helping their guests to get off the streets, they work to lower the numbers sleeping rough in Ipswich.”
Cllr Gaylard concluded, “Councillor Adams, Armitage, Clements, Gage, Gardiner, Martin, Quinton and myself are delighted to have been able to support this charity and hope that it continues to deliver the services and support that are so important to many people across Ipswich and the County.”
(Photo caption Councillors Mandy Gaylard, Helen Armitage and Sandy Martin with volunteers at night shelter)