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Thomas Hough, sales adviser in David Wilson Homes sales centre, Wichelstowe

Homeless drop-in centres receive £1,000 each from housebuilder David Wilson Homes

Two Wiltshire homelessness charities have been given £1,000 each by a housebuilder David Wilson Homes to help continue their work supporting people and communities in need.

Swindon Night Shelter and the Doorway centre in Chippenham have both received donations from David Wilson Homes which is building hundreds of new homes across Wiltshire including at Wichelstowe, Swindon and Birds Marsh View, Chippenham.

The Doorway centre in Chippenham provides hot food, showers and clothing to homeless people in the Wiltshire area. They also provide therapeutic art and sport activities, which together with the practical support provided, help homeless people to build self-esteem and take the first steps towards work and finding a permanent home.

The Doorway centre has recently relocated into a new building at the Citadel in Chippenham where they have been able to bring together all their services, storage and facilities under one roof.

As well as the financial donation to the Doorway, David Wilson Homes has also set up a donation point in the Birds Marsh View sales centre in Chippenham to collect food and clothing donations from visitors and residents which the team will deliver to the charity.

Swindon Night Shelter is located at The Haven building, where they provide a refuge, hot meals, and clothes five days a week for those with no home or recently re-homed.

The ethos of the charity is to get to know the homeless individual and their story so one of the 150 volunteers at the charity can help them to find a permanent place to stay and establish a more stable lifestyle.

Aside from the shelter, the charity also runs a winter housing scheme from January to March where rough sleepers are provided with a bed for the night. The charity is aiming to expand its role by increasing the number of beds it can provide.

A donation point has also been set up at David Wilson Homes’ Canalside at Wichelstowe sales centre, collecting food and clothing donations from visitors and residents which will be passed on to the charity.

The Swindon Night Shelter and the Doorway donations come from Barratt and David Wilson Homes’ Local Community Fund which donates £3,000 every month to local community causes and initiatives across the South West.

Louise Ware, sales director at David Wilson Homes South West said: “These charities provide a vital lifeline to some of the people in greatest need in Wiltshire. We believe passionately in supporting people and communities where we are building much-needed new homes so we’re pleased to be able to help make a contribution towards continuing this important work.

“With donation points at Wichelstowe and Birds Marsh View we hope to raise awareness of the incredible support these charities offer as well as collecting food and clothing to help homeless and vulnerable people in Wiltshire.”

Jo Kitching, director at the Doorway in Chippenham added: “Over the years, we have helped hundreds of people to take their first steps from homelessness back to stability, but now, post-pandemic, we are seeing more and more vulnerable people coming through our doors.

“We believe that with the right support, everyone can reverse the downward spiral of homelessness and our volunteer teams are working tirelessly to help as many people as possible. In our new premises we are expanding our provision so this donation from David Wilson Homes will go towards reaching more people in need.”

Ian McCarthy, manager at the Swindon Night Shelter said: “Working here and talking to people who drop-in looking for help you quickly realise how rapidly someone’s circumstances can change and they find themselves homeless.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, many people’s lives are in turmoil and our services are more vital than ever before. Not only are we are seeing a 60 per cent increase in drop-ins but, post-lockdown, we are continuing to distribute food parcels to around 600 people per month.

“The grant from David Wilson Homes has come at key time and will help us continue to feed and support these vulnerable communities.”

Pictured: Thomas Hough, sales adviser in David Wilson Homes sales centre, Wichelstowe

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