Torbay Winter Night Shelter (ToWNS)
During the harsh Winter months, local churches in Torbay work together to provide somewhere warm, safe and inviting for those people who would normally be sleeping rough on the streets. Each night during the week a different church provides this safe place.
ToWNS (Torbay Winter Night Shelter) is organised by Gerston Christian Centre in Paignton and Christians Together in Torquay. The Night Shelter is run by volunteers from these local churches and follows guidelines set out by Housing Justice.
Each church provides up to 12 guests with a hot evening meal, overnight accommodation and breakfast the following morning. When we are up to capacity, guests can also register for a hot meal. Our church family are also collecting new items (e.g. hats, gloves, underwear and toiletries) for our guests.
Upton Vale has been involved with the Night Shelter for several years and this year we are hosting guests on Thursday nights from 13 February to 12 March. Students from Torre Church of England Academy partner with us - they set up our hall so that all is ready for our guests.
Around 50 volunteers are on our rota (including caterers and launderers), all committed to providing around the clock care for Torbay's most vulnerable. And with links to other local agencies, most guests can be signposted to find the help they need, be it housing, mental health or substance abuse.
If you'd like to find out more about the Night Shelter, please contact Calvin and Penny Lovelock via our Contact Us page.