Headed by Street Support Southampton and Love Southampton, the Winter Beds Project aimed to provide a bed and warm space for those in need this cold winter. It had originally ended last month but has been brought back for another week ahead of the cold snap. This year it is being hosted at Southampton Lighthouse International Church.
Paul Woodman, from Street Support Southampton and Love Southampton’s executive board, helped organise the offer. He said:
“Working with the council and its partners, including public health, we were able to provide a warm place to stay over 50 times during this winter’s cold weather. Following the Government’s guidelines, we provided a communal sleeping space within a church hall owned by Southampton Lighthouse International Church (SLIC). I am grateful to the 51 volunteers, who provided nearly 500 hours of service supporting the scheme that opened every night to people who had been referred. “It’s another example of the joint initiatives across the city to tackle rough sleeping – all listed on the Street Support and Love Southampton websites.”
Speaking from Lighthouse Church, Sanjay Rajo said: “We were so pleased to open our church and welcome people into the building, especially on the bitterly cold nights. They received a hot meal, breakfast and a takeaway lunch each day, all served by volunteers.”
Love Southampton’s collaboration of local churches and Christian charities were delighted to be involved in the project through the provision of food, volunteers and further administrative support – with special thanks owed to City Life Church, The Big Difference at Street Support Southampton and Southampton Lighthouse International Church.
Our sincere thanks go out again to all involved including Romsey Abbey who were the principal funders of the project.