Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes
- safety and compassion for rough sleepers in the worst of the winter. with
- a pathway to long term accommodation
This Charity collaborates with Milton Keynes Council, and the MK YMCA to provide an emergency night shelter each winter. The shelter for rough sleepers provides overnight accommodation at a number of local churches during the coldest winter months.
Up to Spring 2020 there have been nine seasons of this initiative.
This winter (2020-21), things will be different
because of Covid-19 conditions, and are not yet finalised.
During the winter, other centres in the Milton Keynes area provide shelter on other days of the week.
Further down this page you will find
- personal testimony
- some background to the scheme
- volunteering to help at Newport Pagnell
- contributing practically
- a note on previous years at the Night Shelter
google "MK winter night shelter"or
click on the logo at the top right of this page
- A thank-you letter from a Night Shelter Guest
Daniel, Dave, Keith, and all, who have taken their spare time to look after me and the band, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have all done for me "even the hot cups of tea". If it wan't for your help I would no doubt be back in prison and have nothing!! As it stands I leave with a job, a HOME, and a life in front of me I wouldn't have if it wasn't for you all, a special thank you to a young man "Daniel" your heart is pure gold, I don't admire many people in life, but you I have nothing but the utmost respect for, your dedication and determination is second to none, and I can't thank you enough with words, you have all changed a lot of lives over the last few months, me included, so I will thank you all with all my heart for your help and support, please pass on my gratitude to all and forward this email to everyone involved. I will never forget this part of my life and look back with fond memories of you all.
I hope you all stay well
Love and hugs
- Here are some personal experiences of Tim, who knows the difficulties first-hand. He has now learned carpentry and other skills in a workshop and helps others learn.
"When I was homeless thrice, people looked down on me as a waste of space. But now I am doing well. That's why now I do a lot of things with the homeless.
That's why there is hope for them. If they change in life I believe there is hope out there. Like here at Box Gardens they make boxes and sell them to Costa Coffee and a woodwork project. Just started a Blacksmith's course with them and also got a homeless band as well called The Hope.
So they all like doing all the projects. They should be given a chance and don't look down as a waste of space."
Some background to the scheme
From December through to mid-March overnight accommodation has been available in 14 sessions at Lovat Hall on Tuesday nights through to Wednesday morning for up to 16 rough sleepers per night. This is managed by two teams of volunteers who commit to seven Tuesdays (half the Tuesdays) on an every other week basis. Past experience elsewhere shows that this is a more pragmatic and feasible commitment for those who help.
Each year the Milton Keynes scheme serves 1300 bed-nights, about seventy different people have at least a night in a night shelter, and more that 3000 meals are served. In the early part of the evening guests receive tea and cake at a cafe, and a check is made that they are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There is a Welfare Officer, who will already have assessed health needs and processed a risk assessment. The Welfare Officer also seeks to find a pathway to longer term housing for guests.
To Volunteer to help at Newport Pagnell
To volunteer for the winter season you will probably need to book and complete a form (watch out for details nearer the time). Contact details below. 16 and 17 year olds can volunteer, but they require a responsible adult. If you are a hero and can do a few night shifts, this is always the hardest slot to fill! Voilunteers are expected to commit to seven Tuesdays (half the Tuesdays) on an every other week basis. Past experience elsewhere shows that this is a more pragmatic and feasible commitment for those who help
- contact at Lovat Hall, Silver Street, Newport Pagnell MK18 0EJ, is David Wright, telephone 01908 618898 or email email@example.com
because of Covid-19 conditions, and are not yet finalised.
To contribute practically
Practical gifts, which are always needed, include backpacks, socks and pants
Financial contributions always welcome, as running the Shelter at Lovat Hall costs about £1500
contacts for the Lovat Hall, Newport Pagnell location are
tel: 01908 618898
A note on some of the previous years of the Winter Night Shelter
For Winter 2017-18---103 street sleepers were found in the Autumn of 2017; over the winter 69 different people were taken in (58 men; 11 women); there were 1843 occupied bed-nights, 3686 were served; 40 guests were assisted to move on to longer term accommodation; 8 guests were successfully assisted to find employment; 750 volunteers helped with this year's scheme;
Between December 2016 and March 2017 1500 bed-nights were occupied, 3000 meals served; 250 referrals were received from many different agencies; this led to 156 appointments and 41 joining the Shelter. This was the sixth year of this initiative.
From December 2014 through to mid-March 2016 overnight accommodation was available at Lovat Hall for up to 15 rough sleepers per night.
During the winter of 2013-14 Lovat Hall also hosted one night each week until the end of February 2014. The shelter was at full capacity and figures up to 30th January 2014 show that 25 of those attending had been found long-term accommodation (this figure does not include those found accommodation on their first day).
In 2013 more than 60 different people were helped in this way and an amazing 48 were found more settled accommodation.
Although most of the volunteers working in the shelter were from the Newport Pagnell Baptist Church, there was some support from other churches.