Yarmouth charity which provides shelter for the homeless appeals for more volunteers

Volunteers Sandra Harlow, Jo Morrison and Brenda Mizen from the Living Room Project. Picture: The Li

Volunteers Sandra Harlow, Jo Morrison and Brenda Mizen from the Living Room Project. Picture: The Living Room Project - Credit: Archant

A Great Yarmouth charity which sheltered 31 homeless people from the harsh weather conditions last winter is appealing for more volunteers,

The Living Room project uses church buildings to provide a safe and warm overnight space for rough sleepers over the winter months.

It provided 229 nights off the street for rough sleepers in Yarmouth and 458 meals.

It initially ran for one night a week at a single church-owned location from January to March 2017, providing shelter for eight men.

Last winter the project expanded its provision to three nights a week with each night being hosted at a different church.

Anna Heydon, who worked with local churches and charities to launch the project, said: “This project is vital not only because our visitors can be kept warm and fed, but also because we can help them to connect to local services who can help them to move on.”

She added: “Our project co-ordinator has been able to work individually with many of the visitors, meeting up with them in order to support them to define and achieve their goals.”

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Between the months of November and April people who would normally be out on the streets visit one of the churches for a hot meal and a warm bed.

One of the visitors said: “I came in sick and The Living Room helped me to stand up again. I don’t have words to describe how grateful I am.”

The project has worked closely with other agencies, and as a result, eight of the visitors have had successful applications for benefits, 11 people now have places to stay and one is in residential rehab.

Mrs Heydon has noticed an increasing demand for shelter in the area and believes it is down to people being more aware of projects such as The Living Room and other factors including Universal Credit.

The Living Room relies on volunteers to be able to keep running. They offer support in a variety of ways, including cooking, transporting bedding and equipment, serving meals and interacting with visitors.

To find out more about the Living Room or about how you can help, contact 07724303310 or email TheLivingRoomGY@outlook.com