winter night shelter 

matthew2535To donate to this project please click here

Current Provision in Peterborough

The dates for the 2018/19 Winter Night Shelter are yet to be confirmed but it is planned to run from end of November 2018 through until mid March 2019 - an increase on our previous years.
If you are homeless, please go to one of our three referral points as early as possible in the day - do not delay as we only have 8 spaces in total.

  • New Haven Night Shelter, Towler Street, PE1 2TX - (open 24/7)
  • Peterborough City Council - Bayard Place (open normal office hours)
  • Outside Links, Wellington Street, PE1 5DU (open normal office hours)
  • Council OOH Homeless On Call - 01733 864157

Only fully referred guests are accepted.

Peterborough City Council will also set up their Severe Weather Emergency Provision if the temperature is expected to fall below zero for 3 consecutive nights.   This offers up to 12 additional beds.

When SWEP is operating, anyone who is homeless can turn up at Fairview Court, 1 Oundle Road, PE2 9PB at 10pm and be offered a safe bed for the night.   This is a first come first served service.

Overview of Project

From the earliest days of Christianity, church communities have been providing hospitality and shelter for those in both spiritual and material need. This has been demonstrated at the simplest level by Christians showing love for their neighbour and on a larger scale through monastic houses and local charitable and humanitarian projects.
The fact that homelessness exists in 21st century Peterborough is a sad indictment of our times but is not something that is in question. 

We see homeless people in our parks and on our streets, sitting in doorways and sleeping under piles of cardboard and as Christians we feel moved to do something to help, but what can we do on our own that will compliment the statutory provision that is already in place through the Council and not cut across services that are offered through other local agencies?

Light Project Peterborough believed that a Church based Winter Night Shelter would meet these criteria, encourage churches to come together to help solve a problem that is evident in our city.

Sue and Arnie Hensby, founder members of Light Project Peterborough, have had personal involvement of volunteering with a Winter Night Shelter where they used to live in Milton Keynes. They have witnessed first hand the amazing transformation that can take place in the lives of this most complicated of people when they are given the time, respect and love that they need to help them realise that they are worthy of a future if they would just allow themselves to be helped. 
Winter Night Shelter
In response to this, Light Project Peterborough pioneered the setting up of a Church based Winter Night Shelter for Peterborough in 2015 based on the Housing Justice rolling Church model.   The project has now run for three complete seasons.

For one night each week, 7 Churches from a variety of denominations (2 Anglican, 3 Methodist, 1 Baptist and Salvation Army) each provide an evening meal, safe bed and breakfast the following morning for up to 8 homeless guests. 

Last winters project ended on the 12th March and had some amazing outcomes:

  • Housing Justice awarded the Peterborough Winter Night Shelter an "Excellent Accreditation"
  • 258 volunteers registered to take part in the project - most appear to have done so
  • Volunteers came from 32 different churches
  • 20% of our volunteers were non-Christians but we hope they will have seen something that may want them to learn more
  • 63 individual guests were referred to us over the 3-month period
  • 16 guests who had gone through the referral process did not arrive for their first night
  • 47 guests actually stayed one night or more at the Night Shelter
  • A total of 512 beds were provided by the Night Shelter
  • 4 of our guests who stayed were ladies
  • 3 of our guests were actively working during their stay - often working unsociable shifts.
  • Our longest duration guest stayed over 60 nights - they are now being housed.
  • 10 of our guests stayed more than 10 days
  • 23 of our guests were moved into more sustainable accommodation as a direct result of the project
  • 7 of our guests left of their own accord - we can only assume they found accommodation with friends or family
  • 12 of our guests were not re-refered by the Council either due to them not having any entitlement for support in Peterborough or because they were deemed too high risk 

The Churches involved are now making preparations for this Winters provision which will commence at the end of November 2018 and will run from 13 to 20 weeks - exact length is still under review.

If you or your Church would like to be involved in this winters provision then please drop an email to Steven.

To support this work you can donate via My Donate every penny really does count!

This work has been supported by the following Grants Makers and many private donations - we are truly grateful for every single supporter.

  • Cambridgeshire Community Foundation
  • Cinnamon Network
  • Baptist Insurance Group
  • Edith Fitzwilliam Trust
  • East Midland Baptist Association
  • Peterborough Diocese
  • Seedbed Trust
  • BGL Group

Useful links:

Milton Keynes Winter Night Shelter 
Housing Justice

Winter Night Shelter 1