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Posted 8.4.17

Swansea Hope Night Shelter – Thanks

Swansea Hope Night Shelter – Thanks

 

As March ends, so too does the Night Shelter which has been held in the Lower Churchroom each Tuesday since January 3rd. Over the three months we have welcomed 24 different individuals, between 6 and 9 people have been with us each week.

At 7pm when the guests arrive, the Evening shift immediately offer tea, coffee, biscuits and welcome but most people come in and blow up their mattresses, make their beds and establish their bit of floor first before sitting down for a drink with us. We all share a hot meal prepared by our excellent cooks and although we offer card games after dinner most of the guests are weary and most evenings the Blessed Overnighters arrive around 10pm to a quiet room of resting or sleeping people. At 7am the Breakfast shift ensure all guests leave in a rather better frame of mind, having eaten a 'Michelin starred' breakfast!

The 24 guests were all different and had a variety of circumstances which resulted in them being on the streets but a description of the first guest through the door on January 3rd is a good example. 'Manchester Chris1 had lost his job at Admiral, he was unable to pay his rent the first week without wages and was evicted the following week. He was nervous, kept saying "he'd never been in a situation like this before", "he knew it was his own fault" etc. He moved into a flat after four weeks with the SNS and thanked us all so much for just being like friends. The day of his move he was so nervous that he'd make a mess of things again that it took a great deal of bossing to just get him to eat his breakfast.

All the guests are weary and it may seem ungrateful when you hear Gwion complaining about the "awful bloke" at the job interview, Chris moan about the endless medical interviews or Ramez flare up when told he has to go to the 100th interview/form filling session with the Accommodation officer but it's difficult being constantly grateful when making your way through the tortuous System takes its toll. It is very wearying. Occasionally one guest could be a bit silent or even awkward but seeing a line of them giving back coffee cups in the morning and thanking the volunteers for everything only makes you realise how lucky we are.

And the Volunteers - there are around 40 people on the volunteer list, 18 from All Saints and others from far and wide - from the Welsh language chapel in Morriston, Evangelical churches in Swansea and a number who are not church goers at all. A heartfelt thank you to you all - the Entertaining Evening shifts, the Blessed, Saintly Overnight shifts and the 'Michelin 5*' Breakfast shifts [that honour was bestowed on them by a happy guest!].

A huge and heartfelt thank you to you all – for your kindness, your cheerfulness, your dedication, your companionship and smiling faces. Thank you!

April Beynon [Co-ordinator]

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