On Sunday 1st December, Catching Lives opened the doors of Canterbury Community Shelter for the tenth year in succession. The centre will be offering up to 20 bed spaces for 122 consecutive nights, running in partnership with seven Canterbury churches until 31st March 2020. The Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Councillor Terry Westgate showed his support by coming in to share a meal and have a chat with those who had signed up to stay at the shelter on its first night. He even took time to grab a photograph with Clive the Bear!
“The opening is really timely,” said this year’s shelter coordinator Geoff Fielding, “as the temperatures have really dropped this week. But as well as somewhere they can escape the cold, the shelter is a safe environment and they’re not at risk in the same way they are on the street.”
Everyone using the shelter can also access the other services available at Catching Lives Open Centre – which is open seven days a week. They can work with staff to secure more permanent housing, address any mental health needs and substance misuse issues, access showers, the laundry, storage room, phone and internet use, as well as use the centre as their postal address and make appointments with in-house volunteer nurses.
Catching Lives could not provide this service without the support of our volunteers who assist our project workers at the shelters, deliver bedding back and forth between the different churches, and cook and serve the meals at our open centre every evening. If you would like to get involved with Canterbury Community Shelter yourself, or would like more information about what Catching Lives does, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01227 464904.