SWINDON NIGHT SHELTER OFFERS ACTIVITY SESSIONS TO HELP THE HOMELESS UPSKILL
Swindon Night Shelter Activity Sessions
GUESTS at Swindon Night Shelter will get the opportunity to take part in activity sessions from next week (May 11) to support them with life skills.
The invitation only classes will include cooking, gardening, painting and decorating. Their aim is to help those who’ve found themselves living chaotic lifestyles or who are in vulnerable housing.
Manager Ian McCarthy said: ‘We’re hoping to build up these activity sessions weekly. Then, over time, we’ll help our guests to get into a routine along with the opportunity to learn and develop new skills . We’ve realised that, as we start to come out of the pandemic, there is a need to give our guests opportunities to engage with everyday skills. Skills that they may have either lost touch with or been unable to engage in due to their housing circumstances.’
During the pandemic, Swindon Night Shelter diversified its activities during the UK lockdown. During this time the local authority housed many rough sleepers. Now the organisation is powering up again to provide day-to-day support to rough sleepers in the town. And also for those who live in precarious housing situations.
Most people know that a rough sleeper is someone who sleeps on the street and has no roof over their head,” Ian said. “Yet there are other people in our town without secure housing. They may live in temporary accommodation, or be sleeping on a friend or relative’s sofa. These are people on the margins of society. It’s not our role to judge anyone, it’s our mission to try and support people and help them when they want help. We’re a Christian centred ministry. Thus, alongside the vital practical day-to-day support provided we also want to share the abundance of God’s love and provision to those in need’
Staff and volunteers will run the activity sessions, starting with cooking and woodworking. We’ll introduce other sessions, including ardening, upcycling, painting and decorating, arts and crafts at length. We hope to offer one-to-one support for those who don’r have English as a first language – a barrier to integration.
A safe haven
Swindon Night Shelter runs The Haven centre on Queen’s Drive. The organisation also has two shops: Clive Parade and Freshbrook and several key food collection location points. All are now gearing up to operate in a post pandemic situation.
There are plans to increase their services during 2021 and to take an even greater role in supporting the vulnerable in the town.
For more information about Swindon Night Shelter visit https://www.swindonnightshelter.uk