King's Lynn night shelter blessed and officially open
The Churches Together night shelter was officially opened on November 1 following weeks of refurbishment by staff and volunteers. It will be open seven nights a week throughout the winter up to March 2019.
Up to 20 guests per evening can be accommodated at the shelter, which is located at 5 St Ann’s fort, King’s Lynn PE30 1QS.
The Mayor of King’s Lynn, Nick Daubney opened the shelter. He has a personal interest in the project and made it one of his charities when he became mayor. He said, “This project has been given an amazing start and will make a huge difference. It will direct some to a better future and bring real comfort. It will save lives”. Lucy McKitterick is the newly appointed project coordinator.
Prayers were led by church leaders from across the town followed by a reading from James 2:14-17. The time of blessing ended with everyone joining together in saying the Lord’s Prayer.
Why is it needed?
During the winter 2016/17 the recorded number of street homeless in King’s Lynn was 42, making it the 6th worst town in the country (for the number of rough sleepers as a percentage of a town's population). King’s Lynn also recorded the country’s largest increase in the number of rough sleepers, along with Southend.
In response to this King’s Lynn Churches Together decided to run a night shelter on Friday and Saturday nights from December 2017 to March 2018 as a pilot project.
Due to the success of the pilot project, and in agreement with the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, KLWNS (now a registered charity no 1175645) has decided to run as a 7-night-a-week provision this coming winter. The council have committed £25,000 to the project. The charity still needs to raise £50,000.
Over 100 people have attended volunteer recruitment sessions held at local churches but more volunteers are needed.
Anyone who would like to make a donation, or get involved, should email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01553 776109
Pictured: Nick Daubney and Lucy McKitterick