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Volunteers needed to help keep winter night shelter open

  • Categories : Press Release
  • 19 Nov 2019
Winter night shelter 2019

An open day is being held with the aim of recruiting volunteers to help run Merthyr Tydfil’s winter night shelter for a 10th successive year.

The County Borough Council is co-hosting the event with its longstanding volunteers on Thursday 28 November to try to ensure there are enough people to keep the shelter open during the coldest weather of winter.

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.

“Without our volunteers, we wouldn’t have a winter night shelter,” said the Council’s Housing and Supporting People Manager, Suzanne Lewis-Abbott. “The aim of the open day is to show potential new recruits the shelter space, explain the day to day running and inform them about the support and training available.”

The shelter is on the upper level of the bus station and the drop-in session will be attended by housing officers, volunteer coordinators, support officers and training staff, as well as volunteers and partners including the police.

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.

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.

• You can drop in at the shelter any time between 11.30am and 6.30pm on Thursday 28 November (door access is around to the left of Bus Station Café) For further information, please contact the Council’s housing solution team on 01865 725000, email

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