James Tuttiett Charitable Trust
James Tuttiett Charitable Trust

The Winchester Beacon

© Elliott

I felt like I had no purpose when I was made redundant and I was moving between different people’s sofas. Sometimes my only option was a hotel so I was building up credit card debts. At the Winchester Beacon people make you feel welcome and there’s a support network here. It’s the small things that have really made a difference. They make you aware of benefits you’re entitled to and give you any support you need, from filling out forms to learning computer skills and how to write a CV. I am now back in work and making plans for my future.”

Elliott, 24

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Winchester Churches Nightshelter was founded as a traditional winter nightshelter in 1988. Over the last 30 years, the charity has evolved to become a 24/7 service offering wraparound care to its residents. The focus is on helping each individual to address the issues at the root of their homelessness to enable them to rebuild their lives and escape homelessness for good.

In October 2021 the charity launched a new working name, The Winchester Beacon, to better reflect the wide-ranging service that it now provides. Residents have the opportunity to attend counselling, psychotherapy and addiction support as well as help finding employment and housing.

Residents stay for an average of 116 nights with support continuing after they have moved on to prevent a return to homelessness. There is an option for some residents to move to one of the charity’s off-site houses which act as a stepping stone and a bridge to independent living.