Corby night shelter needs volunteers if it is to open before Christmas

Corby’s new permanent night shelter is calling on volunteers or it won’t be able to open its doors before Christmas.

By Sam Wildman
Thursday, 12th December 2019, 10:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 2:44 pm
The new shelter will be in Dorking Walk.
The new shelter will be in Dorking Walk.

East Northants Community Services, which will run the new shelter on Dorking Walk on behalf of Corby Council, needs a bank of up to 40 volunteers on its books to be open safely.

It is not at that number and so if it is going to open before Christmas as originally hoped it will need some people to come forward soon. There are rough sleepers currently sleeping out in the wintry conditions in tents in woodland and Corby is the only town in the north of the county not to have a shelter open to offer beds.

ENCS operations manager Jo Burns said the charity has been appealing for volunteers through its social media channels.

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She said: “We need enough volunteers to be able to open safely and we will open as soon as possible, although we have not got a date to give out.

“Ideally we would be looking for 30-40 volunteers, to cover night shifts. We will be open from 6pm to 9am and so are looking for people to do a 6pm to 10pm shift and then an overnight 10pm to 9am shift.

“Initial induction training will be given and then there will also be lots of extra training as we go forward.

“People should get involved if they want to help individuals in their community. Homelessness is a growing issue and it is through the work of organisations like our that we can help them.”

The Dorking Walk shelter is made up of two adjoining properties and over the past few months renovation work has been carried out. It will have 16 beds in five dormitory rooms as well as a three-room and two-room flat with shared facilities.

The charity, which has been running the successful Sanctuary night shelter in Rushden since 2008, does not have a long established group of local volunteers like existing homeless charity Corby Nightlight, which pulled out earlier this year of plans to take on a council building in Cannock Road and turn it into a shelter.

The charity is now running a hot food van and says it is feeding 25 people a day.

Corby Council, which owns the shelter and is paying ENCS to carry out the contract, had originally planned for the shelter to be up and running by October 31. Now there is no guarantee it will open before the end of the year.

People who may be interested in volunteering can call ENCS on 01933 733001 or through their Facebook page.

Sarah Ward, Local Democracy Reporting Service