A huge thank you from the Shrewsbury Ark

The Shrewsbury Ark would like to say a huge thank you to the Shropshire community; it was overwhelmed by the generosity of businesses and individuals alike who chose to support the organisation either financially or practically over the Christmas period.

It also thanks Chef Marcus Bean and his team, and the many volunteers who gave clients a delicious Christmas dinner; they really enjoyed tucking into a turkey roast with all the trimmings followed by the traditional Christmas pudding.

What next? With the New Year, comes new challenges.

Cold weather provision

Working with Shropshire Council as the cold weather arrived, The Ark helped eight rough sleepers to move off our streets into accommodation in December. Though some of this accommodation is temporary for the winter, the stability it gives provides an opportunity to work more effectively with those seeking longer-term solutions.

“This has also been due to the support we have from other partners including West Mercia Police, Shropshire Recovery Partnership, Shropshire Housing Alliance, and Mental Health services,” says Tim Compton, The Ark manager.

In the event of the temperature dropping further to dangerous levels, working with numerous agencies in Shropshire, there are provisions for somewhere warm and safe for those who accept it on those coldest nights.

“Sadly, even when this emergency provision has been provided locally to rough sleepers in previous years, some have still chosen to decline it and remain on the streets, though the service is accessible to all who would otherwise be out in the cold, and it is free of charge” adds Tim.

Never charges clients for services

Protecting and supporting people to move on with their lives is what The Ark is about. Relying totally on charitable donations and grants, The Ark never charges for services and the charity is run by just three paid members of staff and well over 40 volunteers.

It is open each weekday and rough sleepers have open access for breakfast each morning. As well as receiving practical support such as help with accessing services, throughout the day, they have the support to develop life skills and participate in planned activities to help them move forward with their lives.

The Ark’s outreach service operates in partnership with West Mercia Police, Shropshire Council, Mental Health Services, Substance Misuse Services, and other partner-organisations to support and encourage those vulnerable rough sleepers to access the help available to them.

If you are concerned someone is sleeping rough on the street, contact Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 or online at www.streetlink.org.uk.

Streetlink forwards details to The Ark and Shropshire Council’s Housing Options Team, so that they can make contact and ensure that support is available to any individual in need.

The Ark does not provide overnight accommodation, and there is no night shelter in Shrewsbury.


Annie Waddington-Feather Annie Waddington-Feather
Journalist, copywriter and marketeer with a wry sense of humour, good dose of common sense (and a few diverse interests to boot).

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