Green light for more services for the homeless in Milton Keynes

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In a new agreement between the Winter Night Shelter (WNSMK) and the Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP), the WNSMK can now extend their operations further at the Old Bus Station in Central Milton Keynes.

The extension will enable it to deliver a greater range of services both for homeless people and the wider community.

Services under discussion for delivery may include:

Advice services, such as on housing options

Training courses to develop adult life skills

Work preparation training

Basic Microsoft Office skills

Adult Life Care

Bespoke care for specialised groups within the community

Partner organisations and groups will also have the opportunity to use the space to provide additional services. WNSMK hopes to be able to double the number of guests it looks after overnight during the winter months from 15 to 30.

With the agreement in place until March 2020, the plan is to start the new services as soon as possible and to provide support all year round.

Richard Wightman, chair of the Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes said: “This is fantastic news for us and for Milton Keynes. This expansion means we can offer help and support to more people throughout the year as well as in the winter when it is most needed.”

Charles Macdonald, chief executive of Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP) which owns the Old Bus Station: “We are delighted to continue our support for the Winter Night Shelter by extending community use and providing an opportunity for WNSMK to increase its support for the homeless. In addition we are continuing to support the street food market that is held monthly under the canopy and will shortly be announcing further exciting plans for the use of the first floor accommodation.”

Leader of Milton Keynes Council, Peter Marland welcomed the news and added: “We are committed to helping those most in need in our community. This new service is a great example of what great results can come from partnership working and I am proud that the Council is able to play a role in making this project happen.”

The homelessness partnership is made up of around 30 statutory and voluntary organisations working across the local area to provide help and support to those most in need.

Pictured: Paul Griffiths - Business Development Manager, YMCA, Josh Beaty - Homelessness Outreach Worker Milton Keynes, Councillor Peter Marland – Leader of Milton Keynes Council

Thomas Davis - the founder of The Bus Shelter MK and Richard Wightman Chair of the Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes