The Greater Manchester Winter Night Shelter three-month pilot draws to a close on Palm Sunday. With 120 fantastic volunteers from all over Greater Manchester, it has provided over 500 bed spaces and a great welcome for guests.

In the eight weeks that the Winter Night Shelter has been running so image 3far, it has provided shelter and hospitality to 31 guests, who have stayed for between 1 and 50 nights.

Among the clients, there have been many success stories, with guests being re-housed, getting jobs, moving into more suitable temporary accommodation or even taking steps towards reconnecting with their home community. So far, one guest who has been re-housed returned as a volunteer, and we are hoping more will do this in the future. We have had some wonderful feedback, with one man expressing his gratitude at simply having a “safe place to sleep”.

We have recruited 120 fantastic volunteers from all over Greater Manchester and they have given over 4000 hours of their time. Every night of the week, they have been cooking, cleaning, chatting and sitting down to eat a communal meal together. Hospitality and equality are the underlying values of this project, and our volunteers have really taken these to heart, ensuring that everybody, guest or volunteer is truly welcome and valued. One visitor to the shelter even said he had “no idea who was a guest and who was a volunteer”.

image 4Greater Together Manchester will look at how the project might be expanded to cover the whole winter period next year and increase capacity.

If you are interested in getting involved in the future of the project, or would like to fundraise to support it, please contact us.

Photos: www.jameswhitephotography.co.uk