Hundreds of people helped during 10 years of Rushden’s night shelter

Rushden Night Shelter is celebrating its 10th anniversary
Rushden Night Shelter is celebrating its 10th anniversary

A night shelter has helped more than 600 people since it was set up 10 years ago.

This month will be the tenth anniversary of the Sanctuary Night Shelter in Rushden.

Since it was founded by members of Rushden’s Full Gospel Church in March 2008, it has accommodated 619 people, working with them to help resolve the issues that led to their homelessness.

Volunteers have provided 130,000 hours during that time to support those who go there looking for help.

In addition to this, advice and assistance has been given to more than 100 non-residents struggling to overcome homelessness every year.

And while there have been some sad stories during the past 10 years, many people’s lives have been turned around for the better.

A spokesman for the shelter said: “Over the 10 years, an army of volunteers have given their time to help build, operate and maintain the shelter.

“Homelessness levels are increasing nationally and locally - and planned benefit revisions will potentially create even more challenges.

“The existing night shelter doesn’t have enough space and really needs to be replaced, hopefully with a facility for daytime activities too.

“We need to work with Rushden Town Council and East Northants Council to find new ways of providing temporary accommodation and support, as well as increased opportunities for affordable, permanent accommodation.

“To make all this happen, we will always need to rely on the generosity of local people to donate their time and commitment to the shelter.”

East Northants Community Services, which now runs the shelter on behalf of the Full Gospel Church and the other churches of East Northamptonshire, will be celebrating the milestone with two events.

Anyone is welcome to attend the events, both being held at the Full Gospel Church at 60 High Street South, Rushden.

The first event is taking place from midday to 2pm on Wednesday (March 28) and will include a presentation from 12.15pm and food from 1pm.

A celebration day is then taking place from 2pm to 6pm on Easter Saturday (March 31) with various fun and food-related activities taking place throughout the afternoon.

Display boards will be on show setting out key points from the shelter’s history.

Organisers are keen to welcome former residents and any former volunteers who wish to attend either event.

Anyone wanting to know more about the anniversary events, volunteering or donating to the work of the night shelter, can contact operations manager Helen Allan at helen.allan@encs.org.uk or on 07871 999020.