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Nightshelter volunteers celebrated

On Saturday 1st June, Winchester Churches Nightshelter hosted a celebratory event at Milner Hall, Winchester, to applaud the organisation’s loyal team of volunteers for their ongoing help and support.

The event took place as part of Volunteers’ Week (1st-7th June), a national initiative aimed at highlighting the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK.

Michèle Price, Nightshelter Manager

explained the idea behind the event: “The Nightshelter simply couldn’t operate without our fantastic bank of volunteers. We are fortunate to have such dedicated helpers who give up their time to do anything from cleaning the ovens, tidying cupboards, decorating, serving meals, washing up… the list goes on. Some people help weekly, some monthly and some just when they can. Today is about putting a spotlight on those people and saying thank you.”

Volunteers were treated to homemade cakes served by the Nightshelter’s catering team. The local Food Services Training Squadron (Land) from Worthy Down also kindly donated cakes for the occasion. After an update from manager Michèle Price, a number of volunteers spoke to the audience about their experiences of helping at the Nightshelter. The event was rounded off by a talk from Ben Burfoot, who recently broke the World Record for running the London Marathon wearing a sleeping bag which raised over £3,000 for the Nightshelter. After speaking he took the opportunity to present his medal and certificate to the Nightshelter.

Graham, who attended the event having volunteered at the Nightshelter for several years said: “It has been wonderful to come together today as Volunteering for the Nightshelter is a wonderful opportunity for me to express my gratitude for my own home, family and friends, and to give support, friendship and encouragement to those who are less fortunate. It is immensely rewarding as, for the most part, residents seem very appreciative of our involvement, and the team of volunteers is such a wonderful and happy group to work alongside. It is a joy to be part of such a delightful bunch of committed staff and volunteers.”

In 2018, an inspiring 10,899 hours were given by volunteers at the Nightshelter. Whilst this is an impressive total, the Nightshelter is always on the look out for more helpers as Michèle explained: “Perhaps you have a large vehicle you are happy to use to run the odd errand or maybe you would like to just come and spend some time chatting to our residents. We welcome all the different contributions our volunteers make.”

Winchester Nightshelter will be holding regular taster sessions for potential volunteers to find out more about what volunteering could involve to see if it is something they would like to do.

To register your interest contact Angela on admin@wcns.org.uk

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