Volunteers wanted for Northampton’s Winter Shelter

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Volunteers are urgently wanted to help run Northampton’s Winter Shelter in case temperatures drop over the next couple of months.

When the Met Office forecasts that temperatures are due to drop below freezing for at least three consecutive nights, Northampton Borough Council will notify partners that it will activate the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).

If SWEP is active, a temporary Winter Shelter will open, from the Hope Centre on the ground floor of Oasis House, to men and women who are sleeping rough in Northampton and have registered for the scheme.

Committed, friendly and approachable individuals are currently being sought to assist team leaders and support workers whilst the Winter Shelter is open, two shifts are available:

Evening shift                      8.30pm to 11.30pm
Morning shift                     6.00am to 7.30am

Volunteer responsibilities will include preparing the building, welcoming and registering guests, serving refreshments and hot food, and providing guests with information companionship and encouragements

During the morning shift, volunteers will help to awaken the guests, serve breakfast, provide guests with advice and information, manage the guests’ departure and ensure that the building is left in a clean and tidy condition

Councillor Stephen Hibbert, Cabinet member for housing and wellbeing, said: “Sleeping rough is very dangerous, especially during freezing temperatures and January and February are notoriously cold months.

“To prepare for the possibility of activating SWEP, we are keen to recruit as many volunteers for the Winter Shelter as possible so that we can provide a safe and warm place for rough sleepers to stay and receive support.

Find out more and register to be a Winter Shelter Volunteer at: www.northampton.gov.uk/swep

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