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Great turnout for night shelter open day

  • Categories : Press Release
  • 05 Dec 2019
Night shelter open day

Organisers of an open day to recruit volunteers to help run Merthyr Tydfil’s winter night shelter are delighted with the response.

More than 30 people turned up to the event, co-hosted by the County Borough Council and longstanding volunteers who have helped run the shelter for the past nine years.

The drop-in session was attended by housing officers, volunteer coordinators, support officers and training staff, as well as volunteers and partners including the police.

“We were so pleased to have so many people turn up to either put their names down as volunteers or just to find out more about it,” said the Council’s Housing and Supporting People Manager, Suzanne Lewis-Abbott.

“We were able to show them all the shelter space, explain the day to day running and inform them about the support and training available.”

The shelter is staffed by volunteers and members of faith-based organisations and its start date is largely determined by the difficulty of recruiting volunteers over the Christmas and New Year period. The 2020 shelter will reopen on Friday 3 January and run until mid-March.

Each day the shelter is open, nine or 10 volunteers are required to cover three shifts: 6-10pm, 10pm-6am and 6-8am. The volunteer group serves pre-cooked hot food and drinks in the evening and breakfasts via the Bus Station Café, supported by grant funding from Merthyr Valleys Homes.

Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association is also supporting the project by donating funds to purchase much needed new camp beds and pillows for those using the shelter during the winter months.

Access is provided to known rough sleepers in discussion with the volunteers and the authority’s Housing Solutions Team. Background checks are carried out to mitigate any risks to volunteers and other residents in the shelter.

• For further information, please contact the Council’s housing solution team on 01865 725000, email

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