Good news from Hackney Winter Night Shelter

Dear friend,

Thank you to EVERYONE who has helped over the last five months of the Hackney Winter Night Shelter.

Thanks to the support of funders and volunteers we have been able to;

Move 36 guests on to more permanent accommodation
Accept 84 guests
Serve 2,902 meals

Every pound really matters, as you can see from 
the figures above and the interview with Chico and 
Leszek below. I can only hope we continue to have the 
kind support of people like you next year too, thank you.

With best wishes,

Olivia Kavanagh
Hackney Winter Night Shelter Trustee

Chico, 62, and Leszek, 54, were guests at the shelter...but they just had confirmation they have been given permanent accommodation.

Can you tell us how you came to need the shelter?

Leszek: I was a professional in my own country but I moved here in 2010 to try and improve my life. I found work for a couple of years but when it finished I fell behind on rent and ended up sleeping outside. At first in a park or a garage, then under a bridge.
Chico: I worked in a jewellery shop for five years then moved on to be a builder and a handyman, I was even a babysitter at one point! Work became harder, it was very off and on and I eventually I turned to alcohol. I haven't drunk now for six months.

When you first moved to London, what did you think life would be like?

Leszek: I was just thinking of work, I thought I could make a better future
Chico: I moved here 13 years ago, my wife had passed away and I wanted a new start.

How have you found the shelter?

Leszek: The chefs cook good food, the volunteers, Rory and Kate are very helpful, everyone has been nice every night. Thank you.

Chico: There is always nice food, and the young people here always look after us. They have good hearts. In other organisations I found it hard to get the help I need. I would go there and they give me a form to fill in, tell me to go back tomorrow and I didn't understand what to do. Here, the staff help with everything. Today I've brought in a bill for my new flat so they can explain it to me, they are always here to help.

How do you feel now you have somewhere to live?

Leszek: I'm happy! No park, no garage, no rain any more! This is all because of the key workers, Rory and Kate. They are young people, they do not have to do this job every night. They could be out with their friends but no, they are here. helping people. It is good, very very good.
Chico: I'm still dreaming! Every now and then I wake up and just need to check I still have the keys in my pocket!

How do you feel about the future?

Leszek: For the future I want to find a building job. Now I have somewhere to live, I can do it.
Chico: The same, I want to get things back together and get a good job again. This is a new start.

Question for the key workers: Where will guests go now the shelter is closed?

Although the winter shelter is now closed, we will continue to work with guests to ensure their move-on plan is complete. In good news, many guests moved on to live in their own flats or shared accommodation. Unfortunately we couldn't house everyone but we made sure as many people as possible had a safe place to sleep, even if it's in another shelter for the time being. We worked with lots of other
 homeless shelters and charities, but as you can imagine their waiting lists are overflowing and sometimes closed due to demand.
This has only reiterated the desperate need for Hackney Winter Night Shelter. We are delighted that we have found so many people somewhere to live permanently, so they can escape the
cycle of homelessness. And we plan to do the same next year.

Looking to the Future...

Over the next six months trustees and the fundraising group will be trying to secure funding for next year's shelter, which will start in November.

If you would like to support the shelter, hold a fundraising evening in your home or do a sponsored cycle for us, we would love to hear from you!  A few people did challenge events for us in 2013 and it was a wonderful support for the shelter. Please email Mike on

Run Hackney - sign up now and get 10% off the entrance fee!

Would you like to run for team HWNS in the Run Hackney half marathon on 22 June? We are looking for a team of at least 10 to sign up before 27 May and we'll get 10% off the entrance fee.

You don't have to be a good athlete, you just have to be a good sport and join our team to raise money for your local shelter.
For more information please email volunteer, Morna.


Direct Debit Counter: £143 = 143 meals per month - just over 5 evenings of dinners at the shelter
If 8 more people could give just £4 a month, we could provide the shelter with a whole week of meals!...Every month! This would be such a big help if you would like to support us.

Huge thank you to everyone donating each month.
If you can give a few pounds each month, you could provide someone a hot meal, a warm welcome and a bed for the night.

Click here to set up your monthly gift
Hackney Winter Night Shelter Hackney Winter Night Shelter is a Hackney Doorways project.
Registered Charity number 1139183