Transform Housing & Support held a thank you event to recognise the many people and organisations that have supported its 2016 winter shelter for homeless people.
The thank you event was held on Tuesday 22 March at the winter shelter in Staines. We invited people and organisations who had donated to the project, project partners and other supporters.
The shelter opened in January and has been providing a bed and a hot meal for homeless people from Elmbridge, Runnymede and Spelthorne, during the coldest and wettest months of the year. To date the project has provided shelter for 31 homeless people who would otherwise have been sleeping rough in a vehicle, a tent or even on the street.
Jemma is one of the people who has been helped by the shelter. She said:
"I found myself homeless and I had literally nowhere to go, I was sleeping in my car and then going to work. The winter shelter has been a godsend and the support that I've had from the staff has been great."
The winter shelter project has received incredible support from the local community:
- The winter shelter has been hosted in a vacant building provided by Surrey County Council.
- The project was run in partnership with Elmbridge, Runnymede and Spelthorne Borough Councils and the Rentstart charities from the three boroughs.
- Significant funding was given by Walton Charity and the Community Foundation for Surrey.
- Students at Brooklands College cooked meals for people staying at the shelter.
- The youth group at St Paul's Addlestoneheld a sleep out and raised £1,500 for the project.
- Donations of funding were made by local businesses JTI UK, Cargill plc and Waitrose, while donations of goods were received from Aico, K&T Bray, Costa Coffee, Dreams, Morrisons Ashford, Paragon Community Housing, PH Jones, Tesco Addlestone, Tesco Ashford and Wilts Electrical.
- Donations of funding and supplies were made by community groups including Beacon Church Chertsey, Christ Church Esher, Christ Church Staines, East Elmbridge Foodbank, Kings Community Church, Molesey Care, Refugee Aid Elmbridge, Rotary Club of Chertsey, Rotary Club of Staines, Runnymede Besom, Runnymede Food Bank, Salvation Army Ashford, St Paul's Church Addlestone, Staines Congregational Church, Voluntary Action in Spelthorne, and Walton & Hersham Foodbank.
- Many local people donated money and supplies to the project, as well as volunteering their time.
Paul Mitchell, Chief Executive at Transform Housing & Support, said:
“The winter shelter has given local homeless people a warm and dry place to stay, with support to get off the streets for good. This has been a real partnership project, with overwhelming support from the local community. We are very grateful to everyone who supported the project and made it such a success.”
The shelter will close on Thursday 31 March. Transform provides housing and support year-round for 1,000 homeless and vulnerable people each year across the Surrey area.