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Viewpoint from Rev Katy Dunn  22/11/2019

KATY DUNNRev Katy Dunn
Minister at Christchurch [Methodist / United Reformed Church], Great Yarmouth
Chair of Trustees, The Living Room, Great Yarmouth


as published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury


dove leftHave you noticed that there are more people sleeping rough on the streets of Great Yarmouth and Gorleston?  Back in February 2016 Anna Heydon from “Imagine Norfolk Together” started to bring local churches and other groups together to try and set up a winter night shelter for homeless people.  Due to her tenacity and dedication a steering group was formed, volunteers were recruited and ‘The Living Room’ opened its doors in January 2017

It is now a registered charity, and I am proud to be one of its trustees.  We work closely with other groups who support people who are homeless.  To begin with, we opened for two nights a week, then three, and last winter we were able to offer safe overnight accommodation for four nights.  We chose to open over the weekend as fewer services are available then.  Our aims are to enable people sleeping rough in our borough to have shelter, warmth, and hospitality for some nights every week during the winter months.  We now have a project worker who helps and supports those who are trying to find a permanent place to stay, and a Project Coordinator who manages our work
Dove rightWe are very grateful to the Minster Mission, Park Baptist Church, and to the King’s Centre for generously hosting The Living Room on their premises from November to March.  We also could not run without our many volunteers, who set up, welcome the visitors, cook and serve the meals, play board and card games, supervise overnight, prepare breakfast and then clear up.  We have three volunteers for the early evening shift, two for the overnight and morning shifts.  They tell us that they find volunteering satisfying and rewarding.  We are urgently looking for new volunteers to help this winter

Do you enjoy helping people?  Would you consider volunteering for The Living Room this winter?  Or perhaps offer your skills and experience as a Trustee?  You could help bring people out of the cold and wet and be part of a project that offers shelter and hope to those in need.  We offer training and support to all our volunteers.  We have a website – – where you can find out more.  Our phone number is 07724303310, and the email address is  

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