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King's Lynn shelter closes after its first extended season



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It was a nine months that went to the very end - and then some, as the King's Lynn Night Shelter closed for the summer on Friday.

Staff had to deal with a medical emergency with someone who had not realised the shelter in Blackfriars Road was closed.

They came to the building and then collapsed on the doorstep, needing an ambulance.

It was, in short, just another day – and night – for the dedicated staff at the shelter, who had extended the season from its normal winter operation into the summer.

During the last nine months the shelter welcomed 39 people as guests from a great variety of circumstances and backgrounds but with one thing in common that they had nowhere else safe to stay.

As well as providing a safe and nurturing home environment the shelter has worked with partner agencies to help guests access support of different kinds and wherever possible to find suitable accommodation.

The new Jubilee memorial garden at Lynn's Night Shelter which has closed for the summer and will reopen this autumn.
The new Jubilee memorial garden at Lynn's Night Shelter which has closed for the summer and will reopen this autumn.

Lucy McKitterick, co-ordinator King's Lynn Night Shelter said: "This was the first year we were able to stay open into the summer and we are so grateful to our volunteers and benefactors who gave time and money to make this possible.

"Homelessness however is a year-round problem and at the end of every season the unanswered question of where some of our guests will stay that night is always a stark reminder of why we are here and why our work matters so much.

"We hope within the next two years to be able to stay open all year round.

"We are also acutely aware that the need this year has been much greater than the number of people we have been able to accommodate here.

"We've helped a further 197 people with hot food, advice or referrals including 68 people asking for sleeping bags or wanting to stay with us.

"We hope to increase our capacity in the coming months but also to work more closely with the borough council and Purfleet Trust so that anyone seeking help on any day or night of the year can find it and not have to sleep on the street.

"None of our work is possible without the help of the community in King's Lynn and West Norfolk , we really do have a Night Shelter because you make it happen!

"So please do keep an eye out for news in the coming months of how to volunteer or how to support us with food or donations next year.

"The homeless need their friends and we will be so pleased to hear from you."



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