What we do
The Ipswich Winter Night Shelter provides an overnight shelter during December to March. It is hosted each night by one of our host churches. The shelter accommodates up to twelve people per night. We provide a warm and safe place for our guests. Guests can freshen up, enjoy a hot nourishing dinner, spend the evening in a warm and safe place, share time in friendly company, sleep in a clean and comfortable bed and eat a good breakfast in the morning before they depart for the day. Several of our venues have showers. We encourage our guests to access the help and advice they need from local organisations in order to restore their lives. We support them to find long-term accommodation, regain their self-esteem and find their place in society. All guests need to go through our booking process before they can stay.
Who does the work
The charity behind the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter (The Selig (Suffolk) Trust) employs two full time staff. They work alongside many agencies in Ipswich. Julia Hancock also sits on the Steering Group of the Ipswich Locality Homelessness Partnership. We also employ a team of part time staff to help during the shelter season. This includes a part administrator based in the office (Clare Jessup) and a team of four shelter assistants who help staff check guests in and out of the shelter (Carrie Gilbert, Jacqui Goodwin, Linda Perkins and Sally Abbot).
Until the Spring of 2017, a core team of volunteers worked together to coordinate the shelter. This team was chaired by Bernadette Ross-Smith until October 2016. When she stepped down, Wendy Hill took over the role of Chair. After the 2016/17 season, Wendy also stepped down (due to personal circumstances). The remainder of the team decided to disband. Their expertise, knowledge and passion are all still used within our existing volunteer team.
Each of our host churches has a coordinator who oversees the smooth running of the shelter at their venue. They produce a volunteer rota, organise supplies, stores and resources, produce a rota for cooking evening meals and ensure that all cooks are adequately trained. The shelter could not run without this team of committed volunteers.
In addition, we have a coordinator for our volunteer database and for our prayer network. We have around 250 active volunteers this season. They are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and churches and they give up their time to provide shelter, hope and hospitality.