Gloucestershire

Cheltenham church converts garage to help the homeless

Tins being stored in Trinity Cheltenham's garage
Image caption Tins and clothing are donated by members of the congregation on a weekly basis

A former garage has been converted by a Gloucestershire church into a place to care for vulnerable adults.

Kitchen, laundry and showering facilities have been built, along with a food and clothing bank, as part of Trinity Cheltenham's Garage ministry.

The transformation has cost the church more than £35,000 but the whole sum was donated by an anonymous church member.

It is open for three days a week but church leaders hope to increase that to five days a week and every evening.

The church is primarily aiming the project at the homeless and believes that up to 12 adults are sleeping rough in the town at any one time.

'Families without food'

Sue Lang, associate pastor, said the facilities would also be there for adults classed as vulnerable in the town.

Image caption The work on the building cost more than £35,000

"For example, when people are on benefits, often they fall off benefits because something has changed, and it could be three to five weeks before they get back on to benefits," she said.

"We find families without any food at all so we can give them parcels of food from here and that can keep them going for a few days."

The church's congregation gives weekly donations of tinned food and clothing and also a few local schools have donated produce from their harvest festivals.

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