Surviving winter with MK Community Foundation

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MK Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter Campaign has already raised £11,000 to support vulnerable and older people in Milton Keynes. Some of the funds raised are now helping the MK YMCA’s Winter Night Shelter Project.

Due to the lack of emergency accommodation for homeless people in Milton Keynes last winter, and serious concerns that this year someone would die on the streets from exposure to severe cold weather, MK YMCA set up the Winter Night Shelter Project.

Working with local church groups, 7 venues have been established across the city to provide free emergency shelter between December 2011 and March 2012. Safe and warm overnight accommodation and food is now being provided for up to 16 men & women each night in church buildings, each client has their own bedding, towel and toiletries which are stored and then transported to and from each venue every day. The project is a massive logistical operation which is being run by YMCA’s Mary Courtney she also manages the team of 210 volunteers who give their time to do everything from cooking and deliveries to laundry and training. Mary has been overwhelmed by the generosity of local supporters, Volkswagen, John Lewis and Costco have all gifted essential items like bedding and clothing and The Buszy offer daily storage space for the bedding.

Mary said: “This is much more than just providing night shelter. This is about giving hope and strength to the people who have found themselves living on the streets, often through no fault of their own. We are providing a quality service in an environment where no one is judged and we are always working towards finding longer term solutions for each client.”

The Surviving Winter grant from the MK Community Foundation will provide additional YMCA staff time for the project to enable Mary and her team to fully meet the demands on their service.

As well as being partnered with MK YMCA, MK Community Foundation are working with Age UK Milton Keynes, The Foodbank and SSAFA Forces Help to ensure funds raised through the Surviving Winter appeal will directly support those most in need. They’re urging everyone to give whatever they can afford and if you receive the Winter Fuel Payment but don’t NEED IT, can you DONATE IT? Your donation will help save lives and ease the burden of winter for our most vulnerable communities. Please Give today via www.mkcommunityfoundation.co.uk or call us on 01908 690276