Woodside Ferry Village backs call to help Wirral’s street homeless

Woodside Ferry ViIlage joined forces with Birkenhead based business, Samelco Web Technology, to support the services of YMCA Wirral in addressing the hardships suffered by the growing number of Wirral’s homeless.  

In organising the ’Sleep Ferry Well’ appeal, Woodside Ferry Village and Samelco Web Technology contacted a number of businesses throughout the region to raise donations in buying much needed heavy duty army camp beds and other sundries to help homeless people sleep at the YMCA Night Shelter in Whetstone Lane.  So far Sleep Ferry Well’ has raised over £3,000.

The Night Shelter is already full to capacity, but with demand set to rise as Christmas and the New Year gets closer, the camp beds will help the YMCA to accommodate more as the colder weather begins to bite.

Since the year-round shelter opened a decade ago the number of street homeless using it as a place of refuge has steadily increased, 2018 now providing a total of 4,869 bed night places to 377 men and women.

Sharon Stanton, Managing Director of Woodside Ferry Village said: “Since we opened Woodside Ferry Village in June, we were very determined to support the services of YMCA Wirral, which offers vital services in our community which are more than just providing a warm bed for the night but is very much about life saving.  We need to give thought to those who are not so fortunate as rough sleeping, homelessness and a cold pavement or doorway is maybe all they have.

“We hope the contribution of Woodside Ferry Village, Samelco Web Technology, and the many businesses which have so very kindly donated will bring some comfort to those seeking safety while the rest of us sleep comfortably in our own beds at home. We are indebted to the local businesses which have kindly donated, and to the dedication of Mike Walton at Samelco Automation Systems in working closely with us in this important appeal.”

Support included donations from the Cowfish Smokehouse, Low Slow and Dough, Haku Sushi, The Refreshment Rooms, and Caffe Cream, all vendors at the Woodside Ferry Village food hall, with further donations from the business community given by Hoist UK, Truss UK, Russell Taylor Holdings, Finsa UK, Inteb, JD Engineering, Progress to Excellence Group, T4C Training, Oon Media, APH Accountants, A&S McKay, Jay Reynolds Pallets, Fuse Hair Hub, Dures Builders, Lawn and Weed Wirral, LS Hayden Building Contractors and Complete Warm Roofs.  Moreton based Typhoo donated a vast amount of tea products which will certainly help the Night Shelter provide hot drinks in the months ahead.

Mike Walton, Managing Director at Samelco Web Technology commented, “As winter takes hold and the cold weather has hit us all, we must never overlook that as a community we should try to do as much as we can to help and support those who work tirelessly all year round in providing care for those which find themselves on the streets without a home or place to stay. 

Nigel Hughes, Chief Executive at YMCA Wirral, said: “The homeless crisis in Wirral is deep and set to get worse due to social problems such as the lack of affordable housing and unemployment. Men and women can become homeless when they leave the armed forces or prison, are escaping abusive relationships or simply just can’t afford the rent.

“Mental health issues, relationship break-down, anti-social behaviour, alcohol and drug misuse can also see people ending up living on the streets. It’s an all-year-round problem but even worse at Christmas when people relying on the hospitality of friends for a bed for the night – the ‘sofa surfers’ - get turned out to make room for relatives staying over during the festive period.

“This is why we are so grateful to Woodside Ferry Village, Samelco Web Technology and all the local businesses for their support by funding new camp beds for our night shelter. Fifteen beds arrived before Christmas and we are now ordering additional beds and other items. These are strong and long-lasting beds which will replace the ones that have split and broken due to their heavy use. A warm and comfortable bed, hot drinks, food and someone to talk to during the long winter nights is the least we can do as we work to try and pick up the pieces of broken lives.”

The night shelter operates 365 days a year at YMCA Wirral and provides emergency overnight beds for up to 12 men and five women. This is in addition to the 56 bed spaces at the Whetstone Lane centre in Birkenhead.

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