King's Lynn homeless shelter secures vital grant from wind farm project
A Lynn homeless charity has been awarded a £10,000 grant which officials say will help them to do the work necessary to allow them to re-open later this year.
Dozens of people were supported by staff and volunteers of the town's Winter Night Shelter between early November and the end of March.
Now, developers of a major offshore windfarm project have given them £10,000 which will keep a key official in place over the summer.
And supporters say that is absolutely critical to enable the St Anns Fort centre to support more people who would otherwise be sleeping rough next winter.
Treasurer and trustee Julian Hallett said: "Our co-ordinator spends the summer recruiting and training volunteers, raising funds for the following winter and co-ordinating with other agencies having an input to the homeless.
"If she did not perform these roles the shelter would not be able to open next winter."
Fundraising for next winter is in its early stages, although a team of supporters is preparing to take part in next month's Grand East Anglia Run (GEAR) in aid of the cause.
Mr Hallett said: "I am amazed by people's generosity. I know Christmas comes right in the middle of the winter and that always encourages people to be generous but I am still taken aback."
The latest grant is part of a near £200,000 funding package from the Orsted East Coast Community Fund.
The Danish company operates the Race Bank wind farm in the North Sea, around 17 miles north of Blakeney Point.
Stakeholder advisor Imran Nawaz said: “We’re building the biggest offshore wind farms in the world of the East Coast of the UK, and so it’s our pleasure to be able to offer this fund for communities up and down the coast that have welcomed us and our operations.
"It is especially pleasing to see such a wide range of organisations win a share of the fund and I have no doubt they will make a real difference in the communities in which they are based.”
Grant applications are also being made to several other organisations, although Mr Hallett indicated he was not expecting many early decisions.
He said: "Our experience over the last two years is that as winter approaches people and businesses become more aware of the cold weather and the shelter."