Dear Friends 

The first update I sent out to all of you about Lichfield Emergency Night Shelter was just a week or so after we started back in February. It is hard to believe we now have less than 10 days before we wind this winter's night shelter up.

We have had a steady stream of guests coming through the doors of each venue every night. On average, we have given refuge to 3 to 4 people per night. I am pleased say we have seen some of our guests move on and we have provided a good many sign posts to help them make decisions about their futures. It would be fair to say, not all of these have been taken up.

After the mad rush to get all volunteer opportunities filled, we have settled down into a steady rhythm of having people in the right place at the right time. We learnt quickly that a local venue rota is the best bet to ensuring all bases were covered.

So as we move towards the end of our 2 month opening slot for the night shelter, we want to be able to reflect on what we have learnt, plan for the future and to celebrate what has been achieved.

- We set out to provide an emergency night shelter from a standing start in December. We will have achieved this; we provided a safe venue for those sleeping rough for the coldest part of the winter.

- We have given employment opportunities to committed members of staff who will be able to use this experience in their future careers.

- Over 100 volunteers have helped make the night shelter a reality. The camaraderie has been so uplifting.

- The 5 venues have provided a safe and secure place for anyone to 'lay their heads' at night. The willingness of each church to accommodate the night shelter and to work round the needs of our guests has made  things so much easier.


So what's next?

- We plan to celebrate the work of LENS on Saturday 13th April at Lichfield Methodist Church between 6pm and 7.30pm. Do put this date in your diary - you should still be able to get to any activity you have already planned that evening. The celebration will include refreshments, reflections on the night shelter and chance to chat.

- To help us evaluate the night shelter and to glean your thoughts, Patrick is setting up a book with the title ' Tales from the Silver Bucket'. This will be open at each venue for the last remaining nights. Do share with your your experiences or please feel free to drop me an email instead, if you want.

- We are meeting up with the Council next week to look at plans for the future. The initial meeting will concentrate on how we address begging and the link to rough sleepers. 

- I'm sure we will be looking for your support in the next couple of months to ensure we help any person sleeping rough in Lichfield. We know there is no quick fix, but we have certainly tried to get some support in place and deepen our understanding of the issues underlying their position.


We look forward to seeing you on Saturday the 13th of April at the celebration at Lichfield Methodist Church at 6pm, if not before.


Kind regards


Rick Hill, Mark Taylor, Diana Shore, Patrick Kearney, Richard Henshaw, Roger Baker

LENS Steering Group


Page last updated: 24th Mar 2019 6:14 PM