Swindon Night Shelter ‘pivots’ to offer fresh food to those in need

By Anita Jaynes on 17 April, 2020

Over the course of a single week, volunteers at Swindon Night Shelter had to change their operation to provide fresh food parcels to those in need across the town.

The restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that the team have had to radically change the services they offer to cope with the unexpected turn of events. 

Operations Manager Dan Read said, “We are still faithfully serving those in need in Swindon however our focus has had to shift with the necessary lockdown imposed by government on us all.

“We’re very pleased that the rough sleepers we would normally see at our day centre, The Haven, are now being given accommodation, support and food in hotels across the town.  This has meant that our operation has shifted, however the vision remains the same; we will continue to support those in the town who are on low income, or vulnerably housed, by providing access to food.”

The team are working with other agencies which offer ambient food to families in need. The Swindon Night Shelter team are focusing mainly on fresh food produce, and within days they are already delivering to schools and families who have been identified by local churches, charitable projects and other partners. 

“For the moment we cannot host people at The Haven or keep our shop or cafés open, however we would like all those that are missing our presence in the town to know we are still here and accessible” Dan said. “What we can do is to take the food which is donated to us so generously every day and distribute it to those families and individuals that need it the most. We are keen to continue serving those families and individuals who ordinarily would be sharing a meal with us at this time, at one of our sites in the town”.

Fresh food produce is donated to the Swindon Night Shelter team by a variety of longstanding partners including most local supermarkets. Referral forms will shortly be distributed to all our partnership agencies and more information about the eligibility of this service will be made available on the Swindon Night Shelter website shortly. Visit: www.swindonnightshelter.uk

Pictured above: Swindon Night Shelter Operations Manager, Dan Read