The Ark day centre reopened last month, with new procedures in place to keep everyone safe, and ensure it supports those who really need and want its help.
After six weeks of working from St Chad’s Church Hall, the centre is now functioning as a referral-only service, allowing individuals to access its services through referrals from partner organisations such as Shropshire Council, local police, medical practitioners, family, friends, or by self-referral.
Those who are referred have been enjoying a very new experience.
Davie who’s been sleeping on the streets of Shrewsbury for over two months said: “It’s absolute bliss. Our safe place has opened up again but it’s so much better than before. We can catch up on sleep in the calm atmosphere and I don’t have to wonder around all day with all my belongings in the cold and rain. I’m also having really useful conversations with people who can help me get off the streets.”
The improved provision has seen clients engaging positively with housing, drug and alcohol services and the GP clinic. Support worker Ursula said: “In the 4 years I’ve worked here doing admin and support, I’ve never felt so positive about the difference we can make to peoples’ lives.”
Long term volunteer Marion said: “I like the calm atmosphere, we can have a proper conversation with people and get to know people better.”
Our volunteers have noticed the difference when dropping off surplus food supplies too. Driver Wilf said: “It’s a pleasure to go there again now. The changes they have made, have made all the difference.”