Our Lady and St Joseph Parish
Aire Valley

Inn Churches / Winter Shelter 2024


Every winter from December until March, for the last few years, the church communities of the Bradford area have provided a hot meal, overnight shelter and breakfast for some of the rough sleepers of Bradford. They do this by taking turns to provide the shelter for one week each, Monday evening to the following Monday morning. The shelter accepts up to twelve guests – and the guests are low risk and are vetted by the Inn Churches staff. Inn Churches are well aware that the people running the shelter are volunteers, not trained professionals! The website for the Inn Churches project can be found at www.innchurches.co.uk

We will provide the shelter at St Mary and St Monica's this winter from Monday evening 4th March to Monday morning 11th March 2024. In order to run the shelter we need volunteers from the parish – and every year we have been blessed with many volunteers. However there is always room for more. The latest version of the rota can be seen at documents/RotaWinterShelter2024.pdf.

Each night and morning we need volunteers:

  • To welcome our guests in the evening. (4 people)
  • To cook the evening meal. (2 people)
  • To sleep overnight. (ideally 2 women and 2 men, including the team leader – and you do get half a night's sleep each.)
  • To cook breakfast. (2 people)
  • To be around to help during breakfast. (2 people)
  • To drive the mini-bus evenings and mornings.
  • To accompany the driver each time. (1 person)
  • We also need team leaders. Generally this would be somebody who has already taken part in the shelter in a previous year.

Do we need a DBS check?

Thank you to all those who helped with the winter shelter in previous years. The diocese have asked us that in the future everyone who helps and is in contact with our guests on the shelter should be DBS checked. This need not include cooks as they have little personal interaction with the guests. I know that many of you were DBS checked for the last time we did the winter shelter - BUT - that was three years ago - and DBS's only last three years. So, unless you have put yours on the update system it has probably run out, or will have done by the time we do the winter shelter. If you think you might need a new DBS check, please - Phil is the parish Safeguarding Officer.
Our Winter Shelter week this winter is from Monday evening 4th March to Monday morning 11th March 2024

What can you do when someone is homeless?

Bradford Council provide an excellent link How to get help if you are homeless for people within the Bradford area, but most Local Authorities will have very similar schemes.
The Wellsprings Bradford organisation wellspringstogether.org.uk do much work for and with homeless people in Bradford. On the website bradfordfoodbanks.org.uk, you can find information on emergency food, free meals, low cost food etc.
When cold weather is forecast our Cold Weather Provision for homeless is opened and outreach workers will be out.
If you have concerns about anyone sleeping rough in the district please visit the StreetLink website or use the StreetLink app to help connect them to local services for support. Support to help to resolve housing situations on a longer term basis is also provided.
Information from Homeless Link about how to help someone who is sleeping rough can be found here

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