Mayor celebrates Winchester’s charities for the homeless

Press Release: 18/03/2016

Mayor Celebrates Winchester Charities for the homeless

Nearly 100 volunteers gathered at Guildhall Winchester for a special evening with the Mayor, Cllr Angela Clear (Monday 14 March).

Guests from Trinity Winchester and Winchester Churches Night Shelter were invited to a reception to celebrate the two charities and show appreciation for the hard work of their volunteers.

The Mayor commented:

You do an amazing job, supporting homeless and vulnerable people throughout the year, providing meals, companionship, advice and new skills. I would like to thank you all.

The volunteers present ranged from teams of cooks who provide home-made meals for the Night Shelter each week to trustees responsible for the governance and finance of the organisations.

The two organisations are core-funded by Winchester City Council, and recognised as official Partner Organisations for the breadth and scale of the work they do.

Cllr Caroline Horrill, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said she was passionate about the work of the Housing Service. Last year the Council became one of the first in the country to receive the Government’s ‘silver’ standard in recognition of its work in preventing and tackling all forms of homelessness.

Cllr Horrill said she was pleased at the reduction in the number of rough sleepers on the streets of the city in recent years. She added that helping people out of homelessness required a partnership approach, and that she valued the commitment to partnership demonstrated by Trinity and the Night Shelter.

There was a surprise guest too. Charismatic Big Issue seller Kevin Collick spoke about his life, from homelessness at the age of 16 to the importance of the Big Issue which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2016 and which is bucking the national trend by increasing its sales year-on-year. Kevin takes up a permanent pitch outside the Body Shop on Winchester High Street from this week, and is well known to many in the city centre for his humorous quips and good-natured banter, whatever the weather.

All the assembled guests enjoyed musical entertainment by the Winchester Military Wives Choir, with songs ranging from wartime favourites to the Military Wives’ standard Wherever You Are.

One of the guests commented:

As volunteers, you offer your time to make a positive contribution to the community. You don’t look for any return. But it is always nice to be appreciated, and we are grateful to the Mayor for her kind words and hospitality this evening.