Ipswich: Church minister praises winter shelter helpers

A church minister today praised the work of hundreds of volunteers who have helped with a pilot project which gives people who are sleeping rough a bed for the night.

More than 300 people have given their time to help with the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter which has been running since December 19 and operates in seven churches across the town.

There have been around 30 people using the project with more than 50 having to be turned away because of a lack of room.

Reverend Canon Paul Daltry, minister for church and community engagement, has praised the work of volunteers but he believes more should be done to help others.

He said: “The volunteers here have been tremendous. People here are coming in and feeling valued because we meet with them and give them time – they are given a bed for the night and a meal.

“But people with mental health issues and learning difficulties are not being looked after adequately.

“There needs to be better access to services and we need community-based support accommodation for them.”

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The project is due to finish this month and guests who have been using the project have been quick to thank the volunteers who have helped them this winter.

A guest at the project, who only wished to be named Hamish, said: “At the end of the day living in a church is not the best thing in the world but I have to say, without a shadow of a doubt, the volunteers at the churches have been absolutely wonderful, they have really been there for us.”

n Do you think more needs to be done to help homeless people in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to starletters@archant.co.uk