Churches provide night shelter for the homeless

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SEVEN churches have joined forces for the second year running to transform their premises into the Slough Night Shelter.

Charities Slough Homeless Our Concern (SHOC), a day centre for the homeless, and the London and Slough Run, collaborated with the churches to set up the shelter during the harshest months of the year.  Slough Homeless Concern is a day centre for the homeless and the London and Slough Run is a charity that provides items such as food, drink, clothing, bedding and toiletries to over three hundred people who come along to the various distribution points situated on the streets of London and Slough.

The Revd Peter Wyard, of St Mary’s Datchet, one of the participating churches, said homelessness in Slough had risen by 100 per cent in the last year. So St Mary’s was delighted to be able to host this year’s night shelter in its new community centre (pictured above) which opened in December 2014.
He said: “Where last year we made do with an old and damp church room that barely made it through the health and safety checks, this year we have been delighted to welcome our guests into the newly appointed Church Community Centre.

“Every week volunteers welcome the guests with tea, coffee and snacks. They provide a hot meal and a warm place for them to rest for the night. Volunteers mingle with the guests, playing cards with them, chatting and providing companionship. Others keep watch overnight, providing company to those who can’t sleep and serving breakfast to all in the morning. Plus, there are those who are happy to clean up the next day.

“Aside from the many individuals helping out, we have been touched by the generosity of local businesses who’ve given fresh bread, sandwiches and magazines and more. This year, Churchmead school in Datchet have also got involved, not only in cooking hot meals for our guests every Friday but sending them personalised messages of support, and bringing smiles to their faces. We hope we can continue the night shelter over the years to come.” For more information see http://thelondonandsloughrun.com/ and

The new hall at St Mary's, Datchet.

The new hall at St Mary’s, Datchet.

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