The Greenwich Winter Night Shelter is now a registered Charity number 1168966. GWNS was first established in 2012 by a group of churches as a practical response to the increasing challenge of homelessness initially open from January to March.
We now operate from mid-November to very early April with a break over the Christmas week when guests are offered shelter at Crisis at Christmas. We have seven venues across the Royal Borough of Greenwich – one venue for each night of the week. The Shelter can take up to 15 guests, both men and women, all of whom come through our referral agencies. Our aim is to provide warmth (in every sense) during the coldest part of the year for up to 15 ‘guests’ per night who are seeking help to move on. We provide a healthy and hearty, usually home-cooked evening meal, an air bed for the night in a communal area (e.g. church hall), showers in three out of our seven venues, breakfast and a takeaway sandwich lunch or snacks. We have over 300 volunteers who facilitate the shelter, chat and mix with guests and ensure a friendly, peaceful and homely atmosphere in each venue.
GWNS has a board of Trustees which is responsible for the charity and provides the overall strategic direction. There are two employees; a part time Project Manager who administers the shelter and liaises with referral agencies and a part-time Case Manager who will provide direct one-to-one support to enable guests to achieve long term outcomes. Each of the 7 venues has a Venue Coordinator and shift leaders for the evening, overnight and morning shifts.
The Trustee board has adopted The Faithworks Charter for Christian agencies committed to excellence in community work and service provision in the UK
Our mission is best summarised by Hebrews 13: 1-2
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Hospitality – offering a safe and respectful space, meeting our guests’ practical needs, and giving them dignity
Inclusiveness – welcoming guests and volunteers from any background; we are rooted in the community
Christianity in action – a practical expression of our faith
Promoting a safer shelter
The care and protection of vulnerable adults involved in the Greenwich Winter Night Shelter is the responsibility of everyone who participates in the Greenwich Winter Night Shelter.
If you are concerned that someone you know is at risk of, or is being abused, or presents a risk to others please seek advice from our safeguarding officer, Marianne Gass, email (07722 318852) or our Project Manager, Helen Othen, email (07467547331).
If there is immediate risk of danger contact the Police on 101.
Our Safeguarding policy can be found here.
- Promoting a safer environment
- Safely recruiting and supporting our volunteers.
- Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation
- Caring for victims/survivors of abuse or other affected persons
- Caring for those who are the subject of concerns/allegations of abuse and other affected persons.
- Responding to those that may pose a present risk
- NAPAC: 0808 801 0331
- Samaritans: 116 123
- Family Lives 0808 800 2222
- National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247