The Nightshelter was joined by 80 of our supporters this weekend (Saturday 8th September) to celebrate 30 years of our vital work with those experiencing homelessness across Hampshire. Residents, staff, volunteers and donors, past and present, attended a garden party at Winchester’s Milner Hall where they enjoyed old-fashioned garden games, home-baked refreshments, live music and talks looking back at three decades of the Nightshelter’s work.

Michele Price, Nightshelter Manager, said: “Thirty years is a huge achievement for a small charity like ours. We were delighted to be able to celebrate this fantastic milestone with so many of our supporters, without whom we would not be in a position to help the hundreds of people we do each year. The Nightshelter hasn’t changed much in size over the years, but we’ve evolved beyond all recognition in terms of the quality and breadth of the services we provide to those who are experiencing homelessness in our community. We wanted the chance to thank everyone who has helped us in the past, and continues to help us today.”

She added: “We estimate that over the three decades we’ve been in operation – first as a winter shelter, then as a permanent, year-round shelter after our current premises on Jewry Street was established in 1998 – we have offered an incredible 165,000 bed spaces to locally homeless people, a figure that confirms the vital role that the Nightshelter plays in the community and wider Hampshire area.”

Local dignatories including Steve Brine MP and the Worshipful the Mayor of Winchester Cllr Frank Pearson also attended the event, where they were introduced to former and current residents, volunteers and staff, before a ceremonial cake cutting and musical performance by Nightshelter music workshop participants, co-ordinated by one of our volunteers, Sarah.

Special thanks go to Pret A Manger Winchester for donating a feast of sandwiches to the event, and to local bakers Cocoa & Whey Cakes who baked and donated a wonderful birthday cake, plus Mike Hall Photography for capturing the day.

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