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Barking and Dagenham homeless shelter appeals for donations and volunteers

PUBLISHED: 16:45 20 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:34 20 December 2017

Emma Simmonds from Hope 4 Barking and Dagenham, the borough's only homeless shelter. Picture: Emma Simmonds

Emma Simmonds from Hope 4 Barking and Dagenham, the borough's only homeless shelter. Picture: Emma Simmonds

Emma Simmonds

A homeless shelter is appealing for donations and volunteers to help it continue to provide its service throughout the year.

Hope for Barking and Dagenham, based in Bennet’s Castle Lane, provided 6,020 bedspaces to homeless people in Barking and Dagenham last winter, with 122 different people using the service.

The Christian-run charity Bethel, who run the service, open the shelter on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Jeff Potter, Bethel Centre team leader, said: “Rough sleeping is a year-round issue in Barking and Dagenham - we have the second highest rough sleeping population of all London boroughs.”

A man who used the service last year has now found employment and rents a private flat thanks to the support offered by the centre.

Night shelter project manager Emma Simmonds said: “He has said that if it was not for the night shelter he would still be on the streets now - or not here at all.”

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