Frequently Asked Questions – WNS

Due to the impact of Covid-19 and the government guidelines we are currently reviewing the implications for operating a Winter Night Shelter during the Winter of 2020-21. Therefore some of the answers to the FAQs may change this year.

Please check back here in the coming weeks and we will post updated plans as they are confirmed.

1. As a volunteer what time do I start and finish my shift?

The times for the shifts are as follows:
– Evening shift: 6.00 pm – 10.30 pm
– Night Shift:    10.15 pm – 7.00 am
– Breakfast Shift 6.45 am – 8.45 am

2. How many other volunteers will there be?

The volunteer targets for the shifts are as follows:
– Evening shift:     5 volunteers
– Night Shift:         3 volunteers
– Breakfast Shift: 4 volunteers

3. How do Rough Sleepers access the Winter night Shelter?

All guests wishing to access the WNS for the first time are required to come through our Registration Process. Potential guests can be referred to us via many different agencies including Fatfleshed Ministries, Matthew 25 Mission, the Salvation Army, Foodbank and others.

To access the WNS guests are invited to attend a short interview with the WNS referral team, Monday – Friday, 1pm – 3pm at Christ Church, Seaside, Eastbourne BN22 7NN. Specific interview times can be arranged by the referring agencies during these times on behalf of guests, or directly by guests, by calling the WNS telephone: 07932 407730 (From November 19th 2018)

Guests attending within these times without a prior appointment will be seen but may have to wait for the arrival of the on call team.

There is emergency cover in operation for Saturday and Sunday and this can be activated by calling the above number. Guests will be seen by members of the referral team where appropriate, and at a designated venue in the Town Centre. This will not be at Christ Church as it is not available to us at the weekends.

It is not possible to accept guests into the WNS without first going through the above process. Guests cannot be accepted if they turn up unannounced at the shelter.

Key information
WNS Phone number: 07932 407730

Referral interview times: Monday – Friday, 1pm – 3pm

Interview venues:
Monday to Friday at Christ Church, Seaside, Eastbourne BN22 7NN
Saturday and Sunday by arrangement on the phone number above

4. How is the Winter Night Shelter Financed?

There are four ways that people are giving to this project.

9 churches near the centre of Eastbourne are giving the use of their facilities and the energy and organisation involved in bringing together teams for their nights. More churches are welcome as we plan for this to be a project that is active every winter.

People are volunteering via their churches or as individuals and setting aside time and resources so that they can serve others.

Charitable Bodies
The provision of beds, sleeping bags and other key essentials, including transport for the key essentials to set up the shelter each night, has been made possible by a grant from a local Christian based charity.

Personal Donation
You can help us ensure good foundations are in place for this key work by making a personal donation. We see this project as another ‘entrance door’ to rehabilitation for many at the margins of society. So your gift will do more than help people stay warm on bitterly cold nights, it could be the start of a new life. You can give by clicking the Donate button on this website. Thank you.

5. How can I, and my Church, Help?

7 churches have committed to the Winter Night Shelter Project. But in the long term we would welcome more to help spread the load or respond to the need we find.

Here are some things to think about:

1 Could you or someone from your church volunteer this winter and be part of the team in another church so that you’ve learnt the ropes for next year?

2 Could your church building or church hall be used overnight one day a week or fortnight as part of the Night Shelter rota?

3 Is there a core team of 10-12 people who might take this on, one night a week perhaps, for December, January and February?

4 Is there a person who will help organise your team?

5 There are other issues to do with cooking, security, training, the Christian ethos of the project and several other aspects of housing 15 people for the night. If you’re thinking that God might be challenging you and your church to be part of this then contact the team coordinator:

WNS Project Co-ordinator
Roland Brown
128 Royal Parade
East Sussex
BN22 7JY
07907 965325

or contact us here

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