West Norfolk Mayor Carol Bower presented flowers to night shelter co-ordinator Joanne Dowen and thanked volunteers. Picture: Paul Tibbs

Volunteers who gave up their time to help run King’s Lynn’s night shelter for the homeless were thanked at a special reception.

West Norfolk Mayor Carol Bower hosted the event at  King’s Lynn Town Hall to celebrate the foundation of the Night Shelter Project and to thank the volunteers who gave their time and made it happen.

The night shelter, which operated from the Purfleet Trust, was set up last year and ran from December through to March.

It provided a hot evening meal, a bed for the night and breakfast the following morning to up to 15 people at a time.

A team of 46 volunteers, operating over three shifts, helped to run the shelter which catered for 39 men and four women over the course of the project.

Night shelter co-ordinator Joanne Dowen said: “Our volunteers were outstanding. They came from all walks of life, from nurses and consultants to ex-offenders. They were a really wonderful group of people that had a common goal. They were caring and compassionate and our guests were caring about one another. They were almost like a family group.”

Father Adrian Ling, a member of the night shelter steering group, said: “We were very pleased with the amount of volunteers who came forward to help. Speaking to them at the reception, it was good to know how much they had gained from the experience and they were rather sad that it was finished now. They had real compassion and care for the guests.”

Fr Ling said the steering group was starting to plan for next winter and was looking for its own premises to operate from.

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