A HOMELESS charity has an exciting year ahead as it gets ready to launch a new premises and extend its services.

Windsor Homeless Project, based at the Holy Trinity Garrison Church, on Trinity Place, supports the homeless and most vulnerable in the area.

It sits under its umbrella charity, Windsor Christian Action, which operates three other projects including Windsor Foodshare, More than a Shelter and Windsor Streetangels.

And most recently, the homeless project secured a 25 year lease at the Alma Road Social Club, on Alma Road, which it will start converting for its own purpose in the coming months.

Trustee Jeremy Crame explained: “Once we’ve got this up and running we can then become proactive because what the guys here need is a vehicle on which they can start to become part of society again.”

Mr Crame added: “One of the biggest things homeless people face is that they have no purpose in life.

“They probably had a bad upbringing, got involved in things they shouldn’t have got involved with and our goal is to bring these people back.

“We want to give them training and give them some self-worth so they can actually go out and get employed and become members of society.”

And Mr Crame said they are about to launch a big fundraising programme to give the Alma Road premises more purpose.

During 2021, Windsor Homeless Project led more than 400 digital support sessions, 130 counselling sessions and supported 177 individual guests.

Royal Borough Observer: The charity welcomes those in need to use its services at the Holy Trinity Garrison Church. Picture: Laura ScardarellaThe charity welcomes those in need to use its services at the Holy Trinity Garrison Church. Picture: Laura Scardarella

The project currently sees around 22 people each week over Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

And those who have been getting the help they need are already seeing the benefits.

Phillip Belcher, who has been coming to the Windsor Homeless Project since July 2021, said the reason he’s got a roof over his head is all because of the charity.

He said: “I can’t thank these guys enough the amount of support I have on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, they are my ‘go to’ people.

“You’ve got a lovely set of volunteers that work here and they’re brilliant.”

Belcher said he most enjoys the social side when coming to visit the project.

He added: “I love being around people and it’s just someone to talk to, I know all the volunteers here and I can’t ask for a better project to come to.”

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The charity also raised £30,000 from its Big Sleep Out initiative in October last year.

The annual fundraising challenge sees the community come together, sleep under the stars and raise funds and awareness for the project.

More than 3,000 hot meals and 9,000 coffees were provided to those in need throughout 2021.

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Tracie Ness, who heads up the kitchen on a Friday, said she loves coming in to cook for everyone.

She said: “I run quite a slick operation in here and it can get extremely busy, so you’ve got to be completely organised.

“I love just interacting with everybody, they put a smile on my face as well as me putting a smile on theirs.

“Just to see their faces and have a lot of fun with them is just fantastic.”