Believe it or not, even in this day and age, there are people sleeping rough on our streets and in our parks. There are one or two for whom this is a lifestyle choice, but the great majority are people who are down on their luck and who have fallen through the safety net of the benefits system.
Every winter the Cardiff Churches get together and run a NightShelter at different locations around Cardiff. The NightShelter offers a hot evening meal, a cuppa, a chat and the chance to play boardgames, a safe place to sleep, normally a cooked breakfast and often a packed lunch. Most locations have showers, and in Canton we have a free clothing store. The shelter in Canton is hosted by Calvary Baptist Church working with Rhiwbina Baptist Church and supported by the Canton Churches.
Opportunities to get involved
The NightShelter normally starts in the week before Christmas and runs until around the end of March, although this may vary depending on the weather. The Canton NightShelter is open on a Thursday night; it is staffed by volunteers and we really need your help. Volunteering doesn't mean having to help every week and certainly not all night, just when you are able to. We run 3 shifts each night:
The evening shift starts at 6pm on a Thursday to set up. Other activities are cooking, serving, spending time with the guests, and so on, and runs through to 10pm
The night shift starts at 10pm and runs through to 7am. This is the easiest and quietest shift as the guests are in bed with the lights out, but it is the longest shift.. Because of its length many people volunteer to do a half shift
The morning shift is from 7am to 9am. This is the shortest shift but it can be the busiest as breakfast needs cooked, guests encouraged to get out of bed, and the beds have to be put away, rooms hoovered, toilets and kitchen cleaned, etc.
If you can cook, make tea and coffee, chat with people to make them feel welcome or want to get involved in any other way - we would love to hear from you for the 2016-2017 NightShelter and a form will appear on this page closer to the start of the season so that you can get in touch.
Latest - the season will start on 22nd December 2016.
Nightshelter training will be at Calvary BC on 5th Dec 6:30-8:30pm or at RBC on 21st Nov, 6:30-8:30 pm.