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A pioneering charity which provides support to dozens of rough sleepers in Milton Keynes every year has been given a boost thanks to a grant from rail operator London Northwestern Railway (LNR).
The Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes supports rough sleepers from its base at Unity Park Station which is opposite the city's Central railway station, operated by LNR.
The £30,000 grant will be used to support the work of the project which provides a welcoming, warm environment for homeless people in the town. It provides the homeless with food, clothing and other essentials and supports them to find more permanent accommodation and employment.
The Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes
Vicky Cropper-Clarke, head of community and stakeholder for LNR, said:
“Putting the railway at the heart of our neighbourhoods is our top priority and we are delighted to be able to support the fantastic work of the Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes, which makes a huge difference to so many vulnerable people.
“All through the pandemic our focus has been on keeping a safe and reliable train service running for our customers who need them but we recognise the huge impact coronavirus has had on society and we felt it was important to support this worthwhile cause.”
The grant for the Winter Night Shelter was made by LNR as part of its inaugural Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF), with funding provided by the Department for Transport. As part of CCIF, LNR and sister company West Midlands Railway will invest a total of £1.7million in dozens of community projects across the network in coming months.
Sara Millington, communications manager for the Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes, said:
“This grant has enabled us to provide additional staff and resources so we can expand the support we provide to the homeless and vulnerable at a time when the need has never been greater.
"Our first priority is to meet someone’s essential needs at their point of crisis, and then to create a personal support plan to enable them to rebuild their lives. Already this winter we have been able to assist a number of individuals who had been sleeping near the railway station with a place to go for help, specialist addiction counselling and placements into longer-term accommodation.
"Our sincere thanks go to London Northwestern Railway for enabling us to scale up our provision at a time when so many other support services have been suspended or gone online.”
To find out more about the work of the Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes, visit www.winternightsheltermk.com
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