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Ian McCarthy

November Talk with Ian McCarthy

It's almost the end of November and what's going on in your business or organisation as the month draws to a close? Today we're talking to Ian McCarthy who is the manager Swindon Night Shelter which supports those who are rough sleeping or who are vulnerably housed in Swindon. The Christian-based organisation helps people without homes without judgment and offers support if that support is wanted.

What's a recent highlight for your organisation in November 2021?
We are actively looking to develop our Swindon Night Shelter Day Centre called  “The Haven” and have increased our opening days/times.  

We are now open five days a week from 9.30am supporting those who are homeless, sofa surfing and vulnerably housed or could also be in emergency / temporary accommodation.

We provide a warm meal at lunchtime, shower and wash facilities, a safe place to unwind, social activities, access to laptops and support staff who can take time to listen and try to facilitate any challenges and needs that our guests are working through.

We have also had a fantastic opportunity to open up a small market stall in the new Swindon Community Hub building in the centre of town where we are able to sell some charitable surplus items which helps raise monies for the on-going work here at Swindon Night Shelter.

We've also started our new cooking skills class here at the day centre, learning to cook and bake all things Christmas related, starting with Christmas cake. 

And what about a personal highlight this month?
I continue to be really encouraged with the great collaboration and working together with other agencies and organisations supporting those in need across Swindon.  We have been able to utilise our day centre building to facilitate further some of this collaboration work for our guests.

November represents Movember – Men’s Health Awareness Month. What does this mean to you? 
Very pertinent for us here at the Swindon Night Shelter, a number of our guests are finding their mental health is affected by the challenging circumstances they find themselves in and it is important that we all work together looking at ways to try and help men with these challenges.

Are you doing anything else within the project this month that you'd like to mention? 
We have seen an increase in volunteer applications, and this has been a real help as we are finding our day centre on Queens Drive gets busier.

Have you got any events planned for November or December you’d like to shout about – either that you are running or attending? 
An unexpected key challenge we are trying to sort through is a need for a replacement van.  Our big van that we have had for the last six years finally gave up the ghost and we have had to scrap it.  

The large van was a vital asset allowing us to collect food surplus and stock for our little charity shop.  It was also used to help the homeless when finding accommodation as it helped them move furniture and possessions to their new home.   We will be needing to look at any opportunity to obtain a replacement!

And finally:
It would be remiss of us here at Swindon Night Shelter not to acknowledge the ongoing support we receive from all our key sponsors, volunteers, churches and individual supporters.  This support really does continue to make a huge difference to the lives of those in need – Thank you.


For more information visit 

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy Swindon

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