Posted on 16th December 2019

A Warrington-based project which provides support to vulnerable and homeless people during the Christmas period is being backed by Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner.

PCC David Keane has awarded a £3,500 grant from his Safer Communities Fund to Warrington Open the Door (WODAC) at Christmas to support them to provide safe shelter, food and companionship to homeless and vulnerable people over the festive season.

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The charity has been providing a safe space for people in Warrington at Christmas since 1991. It is run completely by volunteers and also offers food parcels and good quality warm clothing such as hats, scarves, gloves and jumpers for guests.

The centre will be based at St John’s United Reformed Church on Wilderspool Causeway and it will be open from 9.30am-3.30pm, Wednesday 25 December to Wednesday 1 January.

PCC David Keane said: “Christmas is a particularly difficult time for vulnerable and homeless people. As most of us are spending time celebrating with our family and friends, there are some people in our communities who do not have anyone to spend time with or even a bed and a roof to sleep under this season.

“WODAC is a fantastic project which has supported so many vulnerable people in Warrington over the years and I’m proud to be able to support them this Christmas with a grant from my Safer Communities Fund. This funding will help protect even more people from harm, victimisation and vulnerability and will reduce anti-social behaviour.”

Sarah Lavelle from WODAC said: “This funding from the police and crime commissioner will make a big difference to the lives of many vulnerable and homeless people in Warrington this Christmas.

“The goal of the project is to provide a safe, warm and welcoming environment for people who are homeless, vulnerable or would be alone over the Christmas Period. In an ideal world the service would not be required; however, sadly, we have seen increased demand with 25-50 people visiting the service each day.

“By providing a safe place for our guests over the Christmas period when other services are often not available, we create a short-term protective environment and security at a time when most people are spending time at home with their families.

“Everyone is welcome at WODAC, if you or someone you know would like to attend please come along, lifts are available.”

Warrington Open the Door at Christmas is one of hundreds of organisations across Cheshire which has received Safer Communities Funding over the last few years to support crime prevention or meet the objectives within the commissioner’s police and crime plan.

To find out more about WODAC, please visit https://www.wodac.org.uk/attend