Bringing a community together – The Winter Night Shelter MK
What is the Winter Night Shelter MK
The WNSMK began as a response to urgent need when, during the severe winter of 2010, Milton Keynes Council became aware of a number of homeless people sleeping in bin stores, despite freezing temperatures and thick snow on the ground. At the time the YMCA was the only viable option for many, and with their beds full, a new solution was needed. A conference brought together people from various interested agencies to discuss the issue, and the concept of the Winter Night Shelter MK was born.
The WNSMK supports the homeless in Milton Keynes by providing them with a meal and temporary emergency accommodation. Furthermore, their dedicated welfare team helps people in countless ways, including helping people to access counselling services and medical care, providing access to laundry facilities and clean clothes, advocacy with authorities, the recovery of missing ID, support to apply for jobs and attend interviews, transport to work, help to find family and many other things. They do what is needed for the person who needs their help.
Last winter, the WNSMK closed their 8th season of operation, and it was their busiest season yet, a sign that unfortunately the need for the help they provide continues to grow. Between 1st November last year and 29th March 2019, the WNSMK was assisted by 931 volunteers and served around 11,900 meals over the cold months. The shelter accommodated 114 rough sleepers (99 men and 15 women), an increase of 65% from last year, with 66 of these successfully moved into longer-term accommodation. The WNSMK has also been able to assist their guests successfully in finding permanent employment opportunities.
How Meridian has helped
As a local business, we take pride in helping build the community, bringing opportunities and support wherever we can. Over the years, Meridian has helped WNSMK in different ways.
Late 2018, Meridian Interiors was procured to help fit out a meeting room, needing to be installed in the recently refurbished Unity Park Station in Central Milton Keynes. Alongside the volunteers, we worked tirelessly to provide an area that would be fit to help both the guests and the staff change their lives and others around them.
Take a look at the renovation below:
More recently, family member Carl Tucker completed a double header of both London and MK marathon’s back-to-back, raising almost £800 in support of the WNSMK. Running the London Marathon in just 2 hours 44 minutes. One week later running the MK marathon in just 3 hours 2 minutes. Phewwwww!
All in all, Meridian are constantly looking for ways to help the charities closest to our hearts, as we believe a supportive community, is a happy one!
If you’d like to learn more about the Winter Night Shelter MK or donate for yourself, see their website: https://www.winternightsheltermk.com/