We are now well into our preparations for the forthcoming winter and our volunteer application process has opened. We will be providing afternoon support for our guests, including registration for overnight guests. We will also be providing evening meals and support, plus breakfast the following morning. Full details of the volunteer roles available can be found on our 'Get involved/Volunteer' page and also on our application form. If you wish to volunteer, please click on the button below:
MEALs and support fOR WINTER 2020-21 - Covid 19
As we were unable to offer our usual overnight accommodation during Winter 2020-21 due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic, we provided hot, home-cooked takeaway meals for people who had been placed in temporary accommodation/rooms, plus anyone else in need of a hot meal.
With the support of local churches and a few of our 'home cook' volunteers, we were able to offer our meals as a drop-in service on two afternoons each week, from Union Street Methodist Church. At these sessions, we also offered food parcels for essential items and chatted to our guests to ascertain any additional support they may need. In this way, we were able to refer them to other support services as required.
We also offered our home-cooked meals from The Salvation Army Food banks on Wednesday mornings and Friday afternoons, with the aim of reaching a larger number of people in need. Our meals were handed out with the usual food parcels distributed by The Salvation Army.
The need for food was far greater than we had anticipated, due to the impact of the pandemic and the fact that so many people were on furlough or had lost their jobs/homes. In total, we distributed over 1550 home cooked meals (dinners AND puddings).
Throughout this time we continued to work with Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) and other agencies, to ensure there was a joined-up approach to assisting Rough Sleepers and Homeless in the town.
All work was undertaken within the Covid guidelines to ensure that, between us all, we were able to help those most in need.
HELP OUT TO EAT OUT
Homeless charities warn that, across the UK, the number of rough sleepers could increase significantly as a result of the Covid pandemic.
Council Housing support helps the homeless survive the winter, but the experience can be isolating.
Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter work with Maidstone Borough Council and with the Outreach Team.
As you can see from the information above, MCWS provided hot, home-cooked takeaway meals during winter 2020-21, but we were unable to provide our usual overnight accommodation. We are now moving forward with our plans for Winter 2022, which includes providing hot meals for people in need in our community.
Our priorities will continue to be the provision of shelter, meals & hospitality/support and signposting to other services where appropriate (for example counselling).
If you wish to make a financial donation to support our work, please click on the Donate button below.
Help out to Eat out: £10 pays for a home-cooked meal plus a takeaway breakfast pack for one of our guests next winter. If you wish to help, donations can be made here:
The Winter Shelter makes a big difference to the lives of people who, in circumstances often beyond their control, find themselves homeless.
According to Crisis, the true number of rough sleepers is far greater than those reported and its own research predicts considerable increases in numbers of street homeless by 2026, if nothing changes. This is on top of those people already sleeping in tents, cars, trains and buses.
Whilst homelessness continues in Maidstone, Kent, Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter will be there to provide help and support, working alongside other agencies and organisations, including volunteers and team members.
Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter is a member of