Winter Night Shelter MK writes:

MK Council have recently announced their intentions to convert the first floor of the Old Bus Station into a facility for supervised overnight accommodation for up to 18 rough sleepers, intended to operate from November this year.

We welcome this exciting development as this enables closer partnership working with the support services we provide as a charity on the ground floor of the building, also known as Unity Park Station. Our specialist welfare team and volunteer-led food provision will be working closely with council staff to support people from crisis into rebuilding their lives.

Richard Wightman, Chair of the Winter Night Shelter MK, says, “We have been in discussion with MK Council for some time now regarding their plans for rough sleeper provision in the city and we are delighted to be able to partner with them more closely than ever before, offering expertise and additional capacity to support their plans. The provision of accommodation in the same building as our day centre makes perfect sense for an efficient integration of our services whilst allowing people in crisis to receive supportive care from our experienced volunteers and other partners in the sector.”

The Old Bus Station will act as a new venue for the council’s own emergency accommodation provision but these bed spaces are not a replacement for the winter accommodation provided by the WNSMK. The spaces in our shelter in the winter months are usually required to provide additional capacity and support for people the council or other partners in the sector may be unable to help. We are therefore planning to operate an emergency shelter service again this winter although it will be a redesigned service with current needs and Covid safety precautions in mind. We look forward to releasing full details in the coming weeks.

Click here for Cllr Emily Darlington’s announcement of the project.