Hatfield Night Shelter reopens for the winter

PUBLISHED: 16:00 17 November 2018

Hatfield Night Shelter has new camp beds for the guests. Picture: Naomi Bowler

Hatfield Night Shelter has new camp beds for the guests. Picture: Naomi Bowler

Naomi Bowler

Hatfield Night Shelter (HNS) has had a record response to its call for volunteers for a second winter - but they still need your help.

St Luke's Church, where Hatfield Night Shelter is based. Picture: Naomi BowlerSt Luke's Church, where Hatfield Night Shelter is based. Picture: Naomi Bowler

The shelter in St Luke’s Church, Hatfield, will officially reopen tonight (November 17).

With a permanent night shelter in the works at Resolve’s facilities in Queensway House, the HNS crew has stepped up to be a ‘back-up’ until the permanent shelter can open its doors.

HNS organisers have announced several improvements from the founding efforts of last year.

They’ve smashed their target of recruiting 100 volunteers, and to date have trained 150.

St Luke's: St Luke's: "The small church with the big heart" is ready to reopen its shelter. Picture: Naomi Bowler

“That’s 50 per cent more than we had for the whole of last winter,” said organiser Naomi Bowler. “But we still desperately need people who would cover nights in the week.”

They’re offering extra training for those who’d like to step up for the night shifts.

Rather than last year’s floor mats, the guests will sleep on 10 proper foldaway camp beds - and the washroom and toilet facilities have had a major upgrade.

Last year, they were basic plastic loos of the kind you get at festivals.

Hatfield Night Shelter's camp kitchen ready to feed their guests. Picture: Naomi BowlerHatfield Night Shelter's camp kitchen ready to feed their guests. Picture: Naomi Bowler

But the Markyate company FA Wadsworth, who donate the loos, decided to go the extra mile.

They custom-built ultra-posh event toilets and showers with no expense spared.

“The owners both felt it’s really important that the night shelter guests get the best,” said Naomi. “It is totally overwhelming for us to experience such generosity.”

Meanwhile, the organisers at Resolve are confident they’ll be able to get their shelter open this winter.

Boxes of toiletries and clean towels for the guests at Hatfield Night Shelter. Picture: Naomi BowlerBoxes of toiletries and clean towels for the guests at Hatfield Night Shelter. Picture: Naomi Bowler

“The thing is going forward at an alarming rate!” said Resolve CEO Joe Heeney, who has been in discussions with HNS and described their work as “superb”.

“This way, we’re making sure nobody is sleeping rough over the winter,” he said.

A large chunk of funding has been secured from the council and commercial sponsors, and Joe has his fingers crossed for a chunk of central government money.

But in the meantime, if you would like to volunteer at Hatfield Night Shelter, contact them via www.hatfieldnightshelter.co.uk

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