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Record number attend Winchester nightshelter open day

A record 156 people attended the annual open day of Winchester Church Nightshelter last Saturday.

The open day was designed for the public to “see what we’re about and have a look at the shelter and what we offer”, according to Angela Grabbelaar, who is a member of staff at the nightshelter.

She said: “The open day allows us to generate more awareness of what we do for vulnerable people on the streets and what we have on offer to support them.

“We had a record of 156 people attend this year from 11am-3pm and we’ll continue to hold this in the future because it promotes our services to those who might need it.

“We’re full 99% of the time, although winter is a particularly difficult time for those on the streets, so it’s important there are places offering help and a place to stay safe and not be alone.”

The nightshelter received an honour from the Queen in 2017 for voluntary service, along with an engraved crystal tower, following its successful housing of 112 people that year.

According to Winchester City Council’s website, house prices in the district are among the highest in the region, and although the deprivation levels in the district are low, there are still key areas of deprivation. Winchester was found to have on average 0.78 people homeless per 1,000 households, with an estimated 122,000 population.

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