As Christmas approaches and the temperature drops, we felt now was an excellent time to share the Night Shelter Story.
Funded by Foundation Derbyshire in its first year, 2013, and again in 2014 via a number of our Donors (Rolls Royce, Walbrook Fund & Deborah Fern Fund).
The Night Shelter project was set up by Derby City Mission and devised in conjunction with many of Derby’s existing homelessness charities, housing agencies, the police and local churches. The need to offer a coordinated and functioning shelter throughout winter, for rough sleepers, became apparent when Council cuts led to the closure of several key hostels in Derby City.
In the past these hostels offered a warm place to sleep, out of the cold and dangerous temperatures experienced in winter – now there was a real risk of people dying or experiencing severe illness due to limited space and resources. Seven churches shared the role of ‘Night Shelter’ on a rotating basis, offering a warm space, hot food and bedding through some of the most bitter weather.
The Walbrook Fund stepped in to support this unique partnership and innovative idea with a grant of £2,000, swiftly followed by our Rolls Royce Fund.
From December to March we provided 4,695, meals, had 2163 ‘sleepovers’ and hosted 240 different homeless people with overnight accommodation (staying from 1 to 114 nights). We understand that for the first time in 6 years that no homeless person died on Derby’s streets this winter.
250 Volunteers supported the Night shelter project over the Winter, their roles were vital, the task inspirational and for many their volunteering had a profound impact.
It changed my perspective realising that anyone could be in this situation. My husband is off sick, if he was renting alone, he would be one of them.
Even the smallest thing can help, you don’t realise how many homeless people there actually are in our community.
Night Shelter Manager