Warmth shown for the homeless

Mike Jessop, church coordinator, volunteer Elizabeth Holland, and Rev Neil Vickers in one of the rooms being used as a night shelter. GG
Mike Jessop, church coordinator, volunteer Elizabeth Holland, and Rev Neil Vickers in one of the rooms being used as a night shelter. GG

WARM-hearted members of the community have responded in their droves to volunteer at Boston’s temporary homeless shelter.

As The Standard recently reported, the Churches Together in Boston initiative has allocated two rooms at Centenary Methodist Church, in Red Lion Street, to provide emergency night shelter for rough sleepers during the freezing conditions.

The church has since heard from so many people volunteering to sit on night duty at the shelter that there is now a waiting list. Some have even volunteered to cover Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve.

Superintendent minister the Rev Neil Vickers said: “We’ve had people from all walks of life volunteer, including a doctor, and one lass who used to live on the streets herself.

“When we started out we had about 12 volunteers and we now have 40. We’re so delighted with the response we had and I want to say thanks to all who offered to help.”

Despite the weather temporarily improving last week the shelter still stayed open - taking in an average of eight people a night.

One of those was a ‘heavily pregnant’ woman, who stayed at the shelter one night but hasn’t been seen since. Rev Vickers said: “I’ve got a feeling she’s found somewhere else to stay – the last thing we would want is a baby being born on the streets.”

As a final word of warning he added: “We could be in for a long, hard winter with several more weeks of freezing weather, so we may need many more volunteers yet.”

* To volunteer at the church contact Mike on 01205 355543.