In September 2017 Shiloh received a Big Lottery Fund grant to employ staff to help support the volunteer-led homeless support services in their new building in Masbrough. The staff are now working under the oversight of the charity’s trustees to continue and build upon efforts that help homeless adults become more independent. Shiloh continues to serve their guests 3 days a week offering a place of refuge with hot food, showers, clothing and laundry services but there is now a renewed emphasis on guest mentoring. They also have capacity to do a lot more for guests, which includes working more with organisations who can deliver training, education, housing and benefits advice. The volunteer mentor programme will start in May and will form a key part of their efforts to help all guests on their journey towards living independently.
Steve Wylie, the new Project Manager, explains, “I started working for Shiloh in October and very quickly realised how much support and good will Shiloh had received from the local community. I joined at harvest festival time and I was overwhelmed by the number of donations of food, clothing and gifts that came in from churches, schools and individuals. We will need this support more than ever going forward as we look to increase the intensity of our one to one work. We want to support our guests in as many ways as we can to help them to get back on their feet again.”
Gordon Armstrong, a recent ‘graduate’ from Shiloh says, “I really appreciate everything Shiloh does, and feel their great work should be recognised.” Gordon came to Shiloh very low on confidence and in need of food, clothing, housing and employment. Shiloh staff and volunteers supported him with his basic needs which helped bring stability to his life, which resulted in him finding paid employment. He is now fully independent with appropriate housing and is delighted with his new job working as an Administrator in an office.
Addressing the other guests in an emotional speech in the dining room, Gordon said, “Shiloh has been so supportive to me with everything from clothing, haircuts and food to the support and warmth of volunteers like Linda, to which I am truly grateful. I am always told how smart I look, and that’s down to Shiloh who have kitted me out with everything I wear! Sometimes people come here and don’t fully appreciate all that Shiloh does, but I do which is why I wanted to publicly show my appreciation today.”
Shiloh is open to the homeless Mon, Wed, Fri 9.30am-12.30pm at their new building on 15 Station Road, Masbrough, S60 1HN. If you want to support the charity or volunteer your time, then please get in touch, 01709559504 or firstname.lastname@example.org