A council-backed scheme which helps rough sleepers is likely to be extended.
The Caerphilly Churches Night Shelter scheme was piloted at three churches in January 2013 to try and reduce rough sleeping in the county borough and provide those in need with shelter for the evening.
Such was the positive impact of the scheme that it returned in January 2014 with an extended programme, with a total of seven churches in Caerphilly and Blackwood each covering one night each, meaning there was a night shelter available for every night of the week.
Between January and March this year the scheme provided a total of 330 bed spaces, accommodating 17 rough sleepers.
Caerphilly County Borough Council is now looking for additional churches and volunteers to become involved in the project, so that support can be provided to those who need it for an additional two months this winter.
An open evening is being held on Wednesday July 23 at the Oasis Christian Centre in Cefn Fforest at 7pm to discuss the Caerphilly Churches Night Shelter scheme.
Representatives from local churches who would like to get involved, and those residents who would like to volunteer to help as part of the project are encouraged to come along to the open evening to find out more.
Church Coordinator, Reverend Sue Phillips said: “Ideally we would like the project to commence in November this year rather than January, so it would provide shelter and safety for this most vulnerable sector for an additional two months.
“We had seven churches committed to the night shelter scheme earlier this year, but would welcome additional churches and volunteers to be part of this successful project.”
Cllr Gerald Jones, Deputy Leader of the Council and the council’s Poverty Champion, said: “It has been wonderful to see local churches, volunteers, local community members and the council working together to support this important project. I would encourage anyone who feels they may be able to support the expansion of the Night Shelters project this winter to get in touch.”
For further details on the Caerphilly Churches Night Shelter scheme, call David Francis at Caerphilly County Borough Council on 01443 873 549 or Reverend Sue Phillips on 07817 238 608.