New homeless centre beds thanks to enterprising boys

The five boys who won the competition ' Ben Cannon, Luke Gannon, Jake Guria-Garnett, Jo Marriott and
The five boys who won the competition ' Ben Cannon, Luke Gannon, Jake Guria-Garnett, Jo Marriott and

A homeless shelter in Lancaster has recently installed 10 new beds and other essential equipment thanks to a £5,000 funding boost from pupils at Lancaster Royal Grammar School.

The Christ Church Night Shelter for Homeless People in Wyresdale Road received the funds after five LRGS students – Ben Cannon, Luke Gannon, Jake Guria-Garnett, Jo Marriott and Matt Varley, all now in Year 13 – came first in the Ernst & Young Arcade National Enterprise competition last year, winning £5,000 for a community project of their choice.

Lizzy Hare, head co-ordinator at the shelter, explained how the money has been spent.

She said: “It has allowed us to purchase 10 camp beds, new tables and chairs, kitchen equipment and first aid kits.

“It has also made possible two training days for volunteers, one in emergency first aid for those who sleep overnight and a general training day, involving speakers on benefits and housing.

“For the future, we will invest in CCTV outside the hall, improvements to our storage facilities and further training for volunteers, as well as in the general running of the shelter.

“The resources provided by this win have been beneficial as they have helped us to enhance our provision for our homeless guests and develop the confidence and knowledge of our volunteers.”

The shelter, which has been open since 1992, operates in the winter months, offering hot drinks and snacks and a warm and safe place to sleep. It is the only non-referral night shelter in the north west of England and relies on donations from local churches, other organisations and individuals. For more information about the shelter, see http://christchurchlancaster.co.uk/nightshelter.html.