Basildon Borough Night Shelter

End of Season Report   

Guest comments                            Volunteer comments

Everyone has been good to me”   “I felt safe and secure”

“Very humbling, whatever the circumstances of the guests, they were always polite, thankful for being          “housed” in a warm and safe environment.  They also often helped clear away chairs, tables and bedding             and always thanked us as they left.

The volunteers are going a great job to help look after us. They are all helpful and easy to talk to”

The guests were extremely grateful for the support they received, food, good quality clothing, toiletries and        knowing there was someone there who would listen to them or show care and concern.  It is a wonderful                  way of Christian outreach.

I appreciated being warm and dry”

The people we serve through the night shelter are just ordinary people—we don’t need to be apprehensive             even though that may be our initial reaction.

The accommodation has been warm and sleep has come easy to me. I would like to thank everyone here for     looking after me.”

“I would like to thank all the volunteers for the great job they are doing making me feel welcome and            comfortable  every time I came. These places are a Godsend and I hope for others’ sakes it carries on and            goes to more nights a week. Keep up the good work.”

And a final comment which  speaks volumes about how vital the Night Shelter is:  “If it wasn’t for you        and all  the volunteers, I wouldn’t be here now.”

LESSONS LEARNED

 

We have all learned so much from our experiences over the last 17 weeks—the issues of the homeless, how          they come to be in that situation, what they need, how to work with others as a team for a common cause and         how rewarding this can be. As it was our first attempt, a bit of  “tweaking” was necessary as we went along for       the      smooth running of the project. The volunteers have been very adaptable and understanding during these    adjustments and next season we will be ready to rock ‘n’ roll from the outset with this year’s experience under         our belts.  

Well done everyone!!!

 

VOLUNTEERS

We had 66 volunteers register and cover one or more shifts. Many booked  themselves in to cover regular weekly      or fortnightly shifts while others were able to come in as an when their circumstances allowed. Other people were    able to help in different ways such as making donations, doing laundry runs, picking up and dropping off bedding     and supplies. The clear up at the end involved washing all bedding and finding storage space so lots of running  around to do!  

Volunteers came from all walks of life, we had university students, doctors, nurses, midwives, care works,         lawyers, chefs, retired, street pastors, members of the clergy and ranged in age from 18 up.

                            GUESTS

Volunteer comment: “By doing regular shifts I got to know the guests and was able to listen to them. Sometimes they just want someone to talk to about their situation”

Highest guest attendance:  14

Average stay:  6.6 nights

Longest serving guest: 33/52

Lowest guest attendance: 1  nights

Total guests stayed:   52

                      Males:   38                     

                      Females:   14

TRAINING

A First Aid training session from the British Red Cross was arranged. The trainer, Jimmy, covered the first aid situations that might occur when dealing with drug users, alcoholics, rough sleepers. All attendees were issued       with a certificate.  

Fortunately we did not have any first aid situations that arose but the    training was valuable as it gave us the opportunity to ask questions         about the general health issues of the guests we are caring for.

This valuable training will enable volunteers to deal with any first aid needs quickly, calmly, efficiently and with confidence in the future.

Volunteer comment:  “I felt humbled by the way our guests looked out for each other.”

SPECIAL VISITS

In February Rev. Esther McCafferty, Kathy Peach of Basildon CAB and Jenny Williams the Shelter Coordinator       had the privilege of meeting  Her Royal Highness Princess Anne when    she came to officially open the refurbished CAB/Basildon Centre.  

We spoke briefly to her about the shelter, how long it’s been running,        the venues and the numbers we were  getting. She was very interested        to hear about this new project.

 

At Swan Mead we had a visit  from Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South  Basildon and East Thurrock. He was very interested to see what goes  on at the shelter and to meet the volunteers and guests. We have also had visits from Cllr Andrew Gordon and Chris Evans of CVS.QUIZ AND “QUIZZINE” NIGHT

On 26th Feb at Trinity we held a social event for all guests and volunteers, a chance to relax, have a bit of fun and to thank everyone for all their hard work. Jill worked hard to produce a scrumptious Jerk Chicken meal  which went down very well! We had mixed teams of 5 or 6 volunteers and guests  for the quiz (not a lot of cheating went on!) followed by some music and dancing. We finished about 10.30pm so the guests could get settled.  

 In terms of success, through the involvement of Jake, the outreach worker from     St Mungo’s, six of our guests have been housed. Several now have regular employment and when we bump into them round the town it’s truly satisfying to   see them looking more settled and a lot less stressed. They know continuing help  is always available should they need it.