Transform celebrates successful winter shelter pilot

7 April 2014

Transform Housing & Support held a celebration event on Saturday 5 April to mark the successful completion of our Emergency Winter Shelter pilot project for homeless people in Elmbridge.

The Winter Shelter provided emergency overnight accommodation for up to five homeless people from the Elmbridge borough, who would otherwise have been likely to be sleeping rough. The shelter gave these people a safe, warm, dry place to sleep and a hot meal.

The five-bed shelter was open for 75 nights, from January until the end of March. After a quiet start, there were generally between three and five people staying at the shelter each night, with 218 beds occupied in total during the duration of the project.

The event on 5 April was a chance to thank the many volunteers, partners, donors and supporters who have helped with the project. The Deputy Mayor of Elmbridge Cllr Barry Fairbank attended and both he and Transform Vice Chairman Elizabeth Kennedy thanked everyone for their support.

One of the people who stayed at the shelter was Stephen, who said of the support he received:

“Having somewhere warm, dry and safe with a hot meal each night made a huge difference to the way I felt. The staff at Radnor House were the nicest people in the world and the volunteers were so kind. I felt really cared about and supported. I am very grateful to Transform for the warmth, safety and security they provided.”

Paul Mitchell, Chief Executive of Transform Housing & Support, said:

“We are very pleased with the results of this pilot project, which has shown that there is a need for more support for homeless people in Elmbridge, particularly over the winter. We are now reviewing the project and discussing with our partners how we can support homeless people in the area in future.

“We have received lots of great support from the community, with local people volunteering at the shelter and donating food and supplies. We are very grateful to our partners Elmbridge Borough Council, Elmbridge Rentstart, Walton on Thames Charity, Thames Homeless Project and Paragon Community Housing Group, and to the many donors and supporters, including P&G, JTI UK and the local churches.”

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