Leamington homeless shelter needs public’s help to secure future

The LWS Night Shelter team were shocked by the number of people they helped over the Christmas period.
The LWS Night Shelter team were shocked by the number of people they helped over the Christmas period.

An organisation that helps the homeless in the Warwick district has found a new base - but it needs the community’s help in raising £60,000 to secure its future.

The volunteers behind the LWS Night Shelter, which is currently at the Prior’s Club in Tower Street, Leamington, are appealing for help in raising the funds.

GV - LWS Homeless Shelter (proposed). NNL-171212-220314009

GV - LWS Homeless Shelter (proposed). NNL-171212-220314009

Since its establishment in the winter of 2015, LWS Night Shelter has temporarily been based in the Priors Club building, thanks to the kindness of the owner, but - as we previously revealed - the planned redevelopment of the site means the shelter needs to relocate to a permanent premises.

A building in Leamington, which is in Packington Place and was formally known as “the Italian Club”, is now set to be the shelter’s new home if they can raise £60,000.

The money is needed to make the necessary refurbishment and renovation work to the building so it can be used by the shelter.

LWS provides food, shelter and company for the homeless and vulnerable people in the Warwick district. The shelter is run by volunteers and is open every week on Fridays and Saturdays from 7.30pm to 10am.

During those days the volunteers feed around 40 people and provide a warm place to sleep for up to 20 guests.

The shelter originally opened with a view of being a winter shelter but the need for the service compelled the volunteers to operate all year-round.

A spokesperson for the LWS team said: “The most recent count showed we had over 360 individual people using the LWS Night Shelter in the space of 18 months, with an average of 16 staying overnight and 40 coming in for a hot meal each night we opened.

“Use of the Priors Club was granted to us temporarily, however plans to redevelop the premises into student flats are due to be finalised in the coming weeks.

“This means that we will soon lose our home.

“However, there is hope for the future of the shelter: Warwick District Council has promised us the use of a derelict building at Packington Place as our new premises, as long as we can meet the funding requirement of £60,000 for its renovation.

“The “Old Italian Club”, once known as the Galileo Club, is currently in a state of severe disrepair.

“Given our limited resources, we urgently need the support of the community in order to reach this target, and ensure that our guests do not have to spend any extra nights without access to shelter and a good meal.”

The LWS team have set up an online fundraising page to help reach their £60,000 target.

To donate to their fundraising page on JustGiving go to: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lwsnightshelter

The LWS team is also running a reverse advent calendar this month.

The team will post an item every day on its Facebook page and those wishing to take part can put the item in a box.

Although it has already started, people can join in at any point.