King's Lynn Winter Night Shelter is to open a month early and stay open to late June
King's Lynn Winter Night Shelter is to open a month early, it has announced.
It said it was making the move due to the "ongoing need for emergency shelter for the homeless in the borough".
St John's House in Blackfriars Road will open on Tuesday, October 5, a month earlier than was possible last year, for an extended nine-month season ending on June 30, 2022, which means it will be open for nearly nine months instead of the previous five.
The summer months have seen a number of projects taking place including repointing and repairs to the external structure of St John’s House; the development of the garden as a fully accessible outside space for guests to enjoy, and the creation of extra bedrooms to enable it to expand the capacity as the Government requirement for Covid-secure 24-hour single room accommodation continues.
It will once again be seeking volunteers this autumn to join it in welcoming the homeless and vulnerable and making them feel at home.
Information and training evenings will be held at St John’s Church in Tthe Walks at 7pm on Tuesday, September 14, 21 and 28. All new volunteers will need to attend one session (no need to book, just turn up: no previous experience required). Information about roles and shifts/hours is available on the website and also on Facebook on @klwnsnews.
A statement from the Night Shelter said: "It was thanks to the support and kindness of the people of Lynn and West Norfolk that we were able to stay open last winter through Covid and lockdowns and so offer some of the most vulnerable people in our community a safe refuge and help in finding a home of their own.
"The Night Shelter continues to be here for people who have nowhere else to turn and we hope that friends old and new will want to help again this year, either by volunteering or through donations of money or food.
"A list of items needed is also on our website (drop off weekday mornings at the Night Shelter: parking on site) or you can donate online through our website https://www.klwns.org.uk/donate."
Co-ordinator, Lucy McKitterick, said: “The Covid crisis has shown us in a new and very stark way just how much every one of us needs a home: not just a safe place to be when the Government says stay at home, but the support and sense of belonging and wellbeing which go with it and which help all of us have hope for the future and face another day.
"We don’t know what lies ahead for the world this winter but we do know that there will continue to be vulnerable people in need of help and care: so here’s an invitation to come and join us, we are here for everyone and we look forward to meeting you!”
Chair of trustees, Rev Canon Adrian Ling, said: “We are very grateful to our supporters and benefactors and to those who volunteer to help operate the night shelter in King’s Lynn.
"Most volunteers didn’t know what to expect at first but found their involvement to be very rewarding. The shelter lives out the belief that everybody matters and deserves to be looked after.”