Could you help the homeless in Mansfield?

Could you help the homeless in Mansfield?
Could you help the homeless in Mansfield?

Can you spare a few hours a week to help Mansfield's homeless community?

An appeal has been launched for volunteers to support Mansfield's winter night shelter.

Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor.

Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor.

Mansfield District Council is working with local churches and Derby City Mission to run the shelter from December 9 to the end of March - and is looking for volunteers to support the staff who work there during the night.

The shelter will be open seven nights a week and be based across seven venues on a rota basis.

Help is needed from 8-10pm to set up and from 6-8am to tidy away. Duties could include signing people in, getting bedding ready and serving food and drinks.

Volunteers do not need any experience or qualifications as training will be provided - training will be held on Thursdays October 24, November 7 and 14, from 6-8pm, at the Chesterfield Road South Methodist Church - to book, email Mallory Seddon at mseddon@mansfield.gov.uk.

Derby City Mission, which runs the shelter for the council, is also seeking paid staff - see derbycitymission.org.uk
Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor, who has volunteers at the Beacon Centre, said: "Helping out at these shelters is a very rewarding experience and I would recommend it to anyone who cares about other people and wants to make a difference to the community.

"The people who come to the shelter are so grateful for the help they are being given during a difficult time in their lives.

"All you need is to be non-judgmental, caring and prepared to offer a listening ear.

"You don't need any experience or have to commit to 10 shifts a week but you do need to be reliable and turn up when you have agreed to be there."

Councillor Marion Bradshaw, council portfolio holder for housing, said: "The winter night shelter is a vital service for our street homeless and goes above and beyond what the council is obliged to provide.

"As well as providing rough sleepers with a warm, safe place to sleep and hot food, in the coldest months, the shelter also enables the council to make contact with this vulnerable group of people so we can try to find a permanent solution to their housing needs, and get them off the streets.

"It is about building trust and helping people to turn their lives around."

If you see someone who is homeless, call the Framework street outreach hotline on 0800 066 5356.

You can also help the efforts to support rough sleepers in Mansfield by donating time or items to one of the many organisations that work with them - see mansfieldstreetsupport.co.uk