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Crowdfunding campaign launched to help open Wanstead winter night shelter

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:18 19 November 2019

A homeless person and their dog shelter in a doorway in separate sleeping bags, in London. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

A homeless person and their dog shelter in a doorway in separate sleeping bags, in London. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

A Wanstead church is appealing to the public to help raise £10,000 to open a winter night shelter.

Wanstead Parish, in partnership with charity Forest Churches Emergency Night Shelters (FCENS), will be launching the night shelter on January 7, 2020. Picture: GoogleWanstead Parish, in partnership with charity Forest Churches Emergency Night Shelters (FCENS), will be launching the night shelter on January 7, 2020. Picture: Google

Wanstead Parish, in partnership with charity Forest Churches Emergency Night Shelters (FCENS), will be launching the night shelter on January 7, 2020.

Part of a rolling winter night shelter operating across more than seven churches, the shelter will set up in Wanstead's Parish Halls every Tuesday night until the end of March.

More than 75 local people answered the call to volunteer, serving dinner and breakfast and welcoming up to 40 guests and up to 30 men and women overnight.

The church is now looking to raise significant sums to help cover the costs of the shelter, including adapting the hall kitchen, buying a new oven, fridge, hot plates, room dividers, new sleeping bags and to help raise funds for an additional key worker for FCENS to help get homeless people off the street, out of danger and into more permanent accommodation.

"We are so thankful for the amazing response from our local community," Reverend Jack Dunn and Canon Ann Clarke said, the priests serving at Wanstead Parish who are helping to coordinate the shelter.

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"Members have been amazingly generous with their time, offering to cook, help welcome, serve food and tidy up throughout the winter months at the shelter.

"We are enormously blessed in Wanstead to be living in such a caring community.

"We've set £10,000 as our stretch fundraising target. We are confident that, with the help and generosity of our wider community, we can achieve this.

"It is a disgrace that homeless people are still dying on our streets.

"This shelter and supporting the wider work of FCENS is a small but important step to address this."

Continuing the tradition of the Aviva Community Fund selecting Wanstead projects - previous beneficiaries include the Rovsco Scout Hut, Wanstead Playground and Wanstead Church School - a crowdfunding page has been set up for the public to help cover the costs of the shelter.

The Aviva Community Fund provides funding and resources to enable "innovative and impactful organisations to address a range of social challenges and build stronger communities".

To help fund the Wanstead winter night shelter, click here.

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