22 January 2018

Saffron Building Society workshops help Colchester homeless

Saffron Building Society has always supported local charities as part of its commitment to the local community through grants. They are pleased to announce that they will be working alongside the volunteers and staff at the Colchester Night Shelter for the rest of the year.

The Colchester Night Shelter aims to provide emergency accommodation to people who are homeless and supports those caught in the trap of long term homelessness. Shelter manager Marina Woodrow explains:

“We focus on helping our clients gain stability by providing a feeling of safe, secure housing. Whilst they stay with us we provide continued support so that they can firmly close the revolving door of homelessness and open up a world full of new opportunities.”

The shelter was established 34 years ago and has helped over eight thousand people to move on from difficult periods in their lives. As well as secure accommodation, the volunteers and staff provide training, so that they can learn valuable skills which will help them succeed in finding long-term solutions to their situation.

Marina Woodrow from Colchester Night Shelter with Claire Hunnable and Claire Jose from Saffron Building Society.

Claire Hunnable, Community Business Partner at Saffron Building Society, explained how Saffron has developed a unique training programme to help:

“We always encourage our staff to help in the community and this initiative was started by Joseph Orves, our Colchester Branch Manager. We have been running training sessions for the shelter’s clients who are looking to get a better understanding of money management and budgeting, CV writing, interview skills and how to open bank accounts. Our plan is to run these sessions for the rest of the year, then leave the existing shelter volunteers with a training programme they can continue to deliver on their own.”

The shelter successfully moves 65% of residents on to their own tenancies and continues to support them after they have left. Many return to talk to new residents about their experiences, which helps to show them that they too can become self-sufficient and able to move on with their lives.

If you want more information on The Colchester Night Shelter, or want to volunteer or donate, you can find out more at colchesternightshelter.org.uk/.