Leamington Night Shelter closes after 13 years of helping homeless people

Founded by friends Margaret Moore and Chris Johnson, the voluntary service has helped to support vulnerable and homeless people in the town since 2009

Volunteers have celebrated the work of The Leamington Night Shelter after the decision was made for it to be closed after 13 years.

Founded by friends Margaret Moore and Chris Johnson, the voluntary service has helped to support vulnerable and homeless people in the town since 2009.

But the non-profit organisation’s trustees, who include Margaret and Sidney Syson, Jim Murphy and Emma Woods, have said that the emergence of other initiatives, charities and organisations to help people in the town now means that the Night Shelter is no longer needed.

Margaret Moore of The Leamington Night Shelter and Leamington Mayor Cllr Nick Wilkins. Picture submitted.

The trustees have said: “At the beginning we were very much needed but now things have moved on.

“None of the years of operating could have been achieved without the help of many volunteers who came to us over this time.

"In fact we have had a vast number of volunteers - some have stayed with us continually over many years but all were very much appreciated however long they stayed as they were the glue that helped keep the shelter together.

“Neither could we have achieved any of this without the help of our supporters.

Leamington Mayoress Cheryl Wilkins and Chris Johnson of The Leamington Night Shelter. Picture submitted.

"We have been astounded at the number of people who have given so generously.

"Our accounts are for all to see on both the Companies House website and also the Charity Commission website too.

"We will ensure that our existing funds go to help those in need.

"We are sad that The Leamington Night Shelter will be no more, but happy that there is a lot more help for the people that we saw over the years.”

Among those to have worked as a volunteer for the shelter over the years is Leamington Mayor Nick Wilkins, who was himself homeless for a time.

Cllr Wilkins joined more than 40 other volunteers for the celebration.

The shelter, based at Radford Road church, had to close at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic but, during this time, the service actively supported other local frontline organisations and individuals with no access to public funds with help with heating costs, laundrette bills, transport, passports, and food bank forms.

It also provided Easter and Christmas gifts.

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