Local Council funding for support of homeless people in Derby has significantly decreased in the last few years. At the same time, there has been an increase in the number of people finding themselves sleeping on the City’s streets. There are number of charitable organisations that provide services and shelter for these people throughout the year.
One such organisation is Derby City Churches Nightshelter. This runs from 1st December through to 31st March and involves a number of Derby Churches working together to open their doors to provide shelter, hot meal and breakfast for 35 people each night. Alongside this they also provide a daytime support service which serves as a one stop shop for benefits, housing and employment advice, with the hope to get them off the streets and looking to a more positive future.
Last year I got roped in to helping in the kitchen making the meals, but I soon came to realise what a worthwhile and successful project this was. This is affirmed when folk, who have been guests at the Nightshelter, return to help run it the following year.
This year both myself and my husband are volunteering at the night shelter, preparing food and chatting to guests. I have also decided to help out at the Guest Support days, helping guests get access to the benefits they are entitled to and breaking down some of the barriers that may hinder their progress towards gaining more permanent accommodation.
On Friday I will be raising money to help run the Nightshelter project. There is a group of us braving the elements (which aren’t forecast to be particularly kind) and sleeping outside Asda in the car park.
If you read this and feel as passionately as I do that people really shouldn’t be sleeping on the streets, then please consider sponsoring me through my JustGiving page. The homeless people of Derby would be very grateful.