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Winter night shelter open to homeless and rough sleepers at Baptist Church on Albert Street, Newark




Rough sleepers and the hidden homeless have somewhere warm and safe to sleep during the cold winter months.

The Salvation Army, Newark Baptist Church, and Newark and Sherwood District Council have joined forces to offer a winter night shelter at the Baptist Church on Albert Street, Newark.

Previously, a severe weather emergency shelter offered homeless people a warm bed during extreme weather conditions.

THE Winter Night Shelter is open until February, from left to right: Matt Elsey of Newark Salvation Army, Cheska Asman of NSDCD and Sara Brumhead of Newark Baptist Church. (22669155)
THE Winter Night Shelter is open until February, from left to right: Matt Elsey of Newark Salvation Army, Cheska Asman of NSDCD and Sara Brumhead of Newark Baptist Church. (22669155)

The shelter, known as The Well, has beds for ten rough sleepers and sofa surfers, as well as shower facilities, a kitchen to prepare food and a relaxation area.

There is even provision for those with dogs with a dog crate available.

As well as offering food and shelter, The Well can also help guests to find the help they need to get off the streets.

Sara Brumhead, a leader at Newark Baptist Church, said: “We wanted to offer people some help to live independently and help get them into long-term stable accommodation.”

The Well is open from 9.30pm to 8.30am every night until February, and is staffed by volunteers from Churches Together and other organisations.

Coordinating the shelter is Cheska Asman, the district council’s homelessness strategy and safeguarding officer.

She said: “For us, it is not just about offering people a warm bed, we also want to offer advice to help get them off the streets, and for sofa surfers, those we call the hidden homeless as they are sleeping on friend’s sofas, to get them the help they need before their situation deteriorates.”

The Well has a team of around 35 volunteers who work on a rota basis to make sure the shelter is adequately staffed, but more are always welcome.

Matt Elsey, the Salvation Army’s minister, said: “This is a joint venture and is a great thing from the church’s point of view.

“We have volunteers from all walks of life.

“The truth is that homelessness can happen to anyone. If someone loses their job and is struggling financially and with their mental health, homelessness can become a reality.”

The team would be grateful for donations of supplies, including towels, sleeping bags, camp beds, and breakfast staples such as long-life milk, cereals, jam, tea and coffee. These can be dropped off at the Baptist Church.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Cheska at the district council on 01636 650000.

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