On Saturday 25th January, Winchester Churches Nightshelter opened to the public for our annual Open Day. The event attracted well over one hundred people eager to see inside and find out more about how the charity is supporting people experiencing homelessness.
Michèle Price, Chief Executive of Winchester Churches Nightshelter, commented: “We work quietly behind the scenes 365 days a year to help vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness. Our Open Day is an opportunity for us to share more information about the invaluable work we are doing and to give people the chance to look around and also to ask questions.
“Many people were surprised to discover that our residents stay months rather than weeks, as we support them to make steps towards stability. Lots of visitors left reassured that such positive work is being done and inspired to help in some way in the future.”
The event attracted visitors of all ages with a quiz trail around the Nightshelter for children. Brothers, Riley and Austin, admitted that they were apprehensive about coming to the event: “We were a bit scared. But it is really different to how we expected. We’re surprised by how many meals are served, 12,675! It was really interesting to see inside.”
As well as touring the facilities, visitors were able to chat to former residents, staff and volunteers. Many expressed an interest in volunteering at the Nightshelter and signed up to attend the next induction session for volunteers.
Winchester Churches Nightshelter has been supporting people experiencing homelessness for over thirty years and provided essential accommodation to 92 people from April 2018-April 2019. As well as being a safe place to stay, the Nightshelter gives one-to-one support to each resident helping them to find a way forward and escape the cycle of homelessness. Click here, if you missed the Open Day and want to find out more about becoming a volunteer at the Nightshelter.