CAMPAIGNERS fighting to open the doors of a new lifeline for homeless people in Malvern have been handed a £5,000 cash boost by district council chiefs.
Malvern Cares is a recently-formed group of Malvern charities, residents and councillors including the Malvern Hills Foodbank, Churches Together in Malvern, the Salvation Army and Lyttelton Well.
They are working with the Maggs Day Centre charity to raise funds and provide a safe space at the Salvation Army Hall on Newtown Road where people struggling with problems of homelessness can find advice and support.
The Maggs Day Centre Malvern will be open two mornings each week to help homeless and vulnerable people in the area raise their self-confidence and change their lives.
The centre will have a shower and laundry facilities, provide simple meals for breakfast and lunch and offer mental and physical health services and life-skills sessions.
Worcester-based charity Maggs Day Centre hopes to raise the £38,000 needed to recruit, train and employ staff for a 12-month trial.
More than £18,500 has been raised so far and if sufficient funding is raised, the centre will aim to open in January.
Coun Samantha Charles, speaking on behalf of Malvern Cares, said: “The sight of rough sleepers on Malvern’s streets and two deaths last year has heightened community concerns about homelessness.
“More than 100 people were frequent users of the Malvern Hills Foodbank last year and many of them are likely to benefit from the new centre.”
And Mel Kirk, Chief Executive of Maggs Day Centre, thanked the council for the funding which she said would help achieve the target to begin recruiting for the 12-month trial.
Coun Natalie McVey, the council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health, said the authority was proud to be supporting the project with a £5,000 grant.
“Not only will it offer meals and a place to shower but it will be a safe space offering sanctuary away from the street.”
Visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MalvernCares to donate towards the start-up costs of the centre.