The Nightshelter would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped and supported us during the recent freezing and snowy weather.
We were able to remain open throughout the snowy period, largely due to the hard work and determination of our staff and volunteers, who battled into the Nightshelter as usual. As well as welcoming in our 17 regular residents, we also opened our doors to rough sleepers who could access our services as part of SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol).
Michele Price, the Nightshelter Manager, said: “This year we’ve seen an unprecedented number of extra bed spaces made available through SWEP. Throughout the winter period, we’ve run SWEP for 43 nights, offering around 250 extra bed spaces to local rough sleepers. This has obviously disrupted normal Nightshelter operations, and we would like to thank our wonderful team of volunteers and supporters for helping us cope with the extra demand, as well as our staff and residents, who have welcomed in the newcomers.”
Following high profile media coverage on local and regional news channels, including BBC Radio Solent and ITV Meridian News, the Nightshelter also saw an increase in financial donations, as well as extra donations of goods and food, from local businesses and people.
Michele added: “We’re delighted by the way the public have responded to these challenges circumstances. People really do care, and we’ve been inundated with offers of help. It’s great to see the local community pulling together like this. We’ve been able to get more rough sleepers off the streets and into the warm, which is critical, as sleeping out in freezing weather can be fatal.”
Nightshelter residents were also involved in snow clearing and gritting with Winchester BID, which launched the partnership to help local businesses keep open as usual.