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King’s Lynn Night Shelter at Bishop’s House Garden

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Established as a Registered Charity in 2017 by Churches Together in King’s Lynn, the Night Shelter operated for four years as a “Winter” Night Shelter. Thanks to funding and support from the local community this year has seen their first opportunity to extend their work and they have been able to open to their homeless guests from October 2021 until the end of June 2022.

The Night Shelter provides single-room, 24-hour accommodation to anyone in West Norfolk with nowhere safe to stay. We work with our guests to help address barriers to housing, care for their all-round wellbeing and help them find a home.

Lucy McKitterick, King’s Lynn Night Shelter Co-ordinator, said: “Homelessness is sometimes thought of as a problem mostly seen in cities, often very visibly so, as the tents pitched in shop doorways in Norwich city centre show. It can in fact happen to anyone and is often hidden from view. In King’s Lynn we have welcomed 30 people to stay with us so far this year, around a third of the people who have asked for our help: some have been sleeping rough in town but others have been in sheds or tents in the countryside or ‘sofa surfing’ in unsafe situations, or have come to us after a family breakup on their first night with nowhere to go home. We are critically aware that there is more need than we can meet, and that when we close for the season on 30 June there will still be people during the summer months with nowhere safe to stay.

“The Night Shelter has received around 12% of funding this year from our local authority but is otherwise funded entirely by grants and donations. We’re delighted to have been invited by the Bishop of Norwich to hold an ‘Open Garden’ event to help with the costs of this year and, crucially, to help ensure we can re-open for our guests in the autumn.

“We look forward to seeing friends old and new for a great day out as we see how much we can raise to help the homeless of West Norfolk in 2022 and beyond!”

The garden will be open on Sunday 22 May, 1pm-4:30pm (last entry 4pm), £5 per adult (cash only), accompanied children and wheelchair users free. The King’s Lynn Shelter Team are looking forward to welcoming you to this great event for families and people of all ages, with refreshments, a treasure hunt, children’s books and lots to explore.