09 Jan 2018
School pupils, businesses, organisations and individuals have all been donating to the winter night shelter in Bury St Edmunds.
West Suffolk councils working with Havebury Housing Partnership set up a winter night shelter at Northgate Lodge shortly before Christmas.
Prior to that the council had operated an emergency winter shelter with the support of the Garland Street Baptist Church, during which time it was inundated with people wanting to know how they could help.
Over the past two weeks, the Council, Havebury and Tayfen house have all been receiving public donations of bedding, toiletries and other items that will be used by the people using the night shelter.
People can still donate if they wish items of long life food.
Cllr Sara Mildmay-White, West Suffolk councils Cabinet Member for Housing said: “The response from our local residents and businesses has been truly fantastic. This is an excellent example of how our communities work to support each other.”
Karen Mayhew, chief executive of Havebury Housing Partnership said: “We have been overwhelmed by donations. It is heartening to see our local community respond so positively to this and all the items that have been donated will be put to good use.”
Anyone who is rough sleeping in St Edmundsbury Borough or Forest Heath District, can be referred to West Suffolk councils housing team for a place in the night shelter on 01284 757178.
Items can brought to West Suffolk House between 8.45am and 5pm Monday to Friday, Havebury Housing Partnership 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4pm on Fridays. Alternatively they can be taken to The Apex between 10am and 5pm Monday to Saturday, while items can also be taken into Tayfen House.
In the last year, West Suffolk councils have assisted or prevented more than 546 households from becoming homeless. It works with partners who are specialists in mental health and wellbeing as well as substance misuse. Often people who are sleeping rough have complex needs and through the work of a support officer, the councils try to get the necessary help for those people who are sleeping rough in an attempt to help them get off the streets.