People in Northampton with DIY skills asked to help finish off new homeless shelter

The social club, which is at the edge of the Northampton Rail Station site, has been empty for three years

The social club, which is at the edge of the Northampton Rail Station site, has been empty for three years

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People in Northampton are being asked to donate their time to make sure a new emergency night shelter for the homeless is finished by the end of November.

Planning proposals for the night shelter, on the site of the former British Rail Social Club in St Andrew’s Road, were approved by Northampton Borough Council last month and it is hoped the accommodation will be ready ahead of the cold winter evenings.

The organisations behind the shelter are calling for local volunteers to help finish the refurbishment and redecoration of the building before the end of November and to staff the service once it opens.

The community project is in need of people who are willing to turn their hand to DIY to make sure the accommodation is finished on time.

As soon as the building is complete, a team of volunteers will be required to staff the shelter each night. Northampton Borough Council is leading the recruitment drive for volunteers.

Councillor Stephen Hibbert, cabinet member for housing, said: “The shelter will be open from 9pm to 9am every night. For this to happen, we need to call on the support of our local community and to find enough volunteers to staff the shelter every day, all year round. We will provide comprehensive training and ongoing support to everyone who joins the night shelter team.

“There are other ways to get involved too, as we’re looking for people to help us get the shelter finished on time, so we would love to hear from anyone who is willing to spare a few hours to pick up a paintbrush or help with gardening to make a real difference.”

The night shelter is the first of ten objectives in the Together We Change Lives strategy, which was developed by 30 local agencies earlier this year and sets out a plan to work together to end rough sleeping in Northampton. Goodwill Solutions are one the agencies supporting the shelter.

If you would like to support the night shelter, either as a volunteer or by donating materials and equipment, please visit northampton.gov.uk/northamptonnightshelter.

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