Seven is lucky number for homeless

The generosity of people never ceases to amaze Shaun Cummings.

He and his wife Caroline have set up the 7 Project aimed at providing a daytime refuge for the homeless.

It’s based at the Gospel Hall, on Church Walk, Worksop, and has been kitted out with the help of local businesses.

Shaun, 45, of Shireoaks, said: “It’s been really inspirational, people have really stepped up to the plate and really come alongside us.”

“We’ve had a new kitchen put in and disabled toilets, showers, and a table tennis table. The generosity has been phenomenal.”

Shaun and Caroline, who run a care home in Shireoaks, bought the Gospel Hall specifically to set up the Christian project.

They are members of St Luke’s at Shireoaks and Shaun said: “We wanted to do something that would reach out to people, give them food and somewhere safe and a comfortable place to be.”

The 7 Project is designed to be a drop-in centre for the homeless and is run by volunteers.

It is currently open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am to 3pm.

Anyone is welcome, the only restriction is a ban on anyone who is intoxicated.

No drink or drugs are allowed on the premises.

Shaun said: “We have facilities for washing clothes, so people who are sleeping rough can come in and have a shower and get their clothes washed.”

As well as being served a hot dinner, there is also the chance to relax and play games or socialise.

Word has spread quickly about the project and it is proving popular.

Ady Fincham, 25, who is staying with a friend in Worksop, said: “It gets me off the street when it’s freezing and raining.”

“I get a meal and play games on the Xbox.”

Fred Roberts, 43, is Worksop born and bred but now sleeping on the streets.

He said: “I spent last night in a shop doorway. I’ve been homeless for about ten years.”

“Places like this are important, I come here every Tuesday and Friday.”

Darren Morley, also sleeping rough, said: “We’re grateful to the people here for what they do.”

Twenty-year-old Matthew Hinchliffe, who stays at Hope for the Homeless in Worksop, used to be addicted to amphetamines but managed to get off them, and taught himself to play the keyboard in the process.

He enjoys playing his own compositions at the Seven Project. He said: “I just decided to stop taking drugs and I moved away. I haven’t had any for more than two years.”

Owner of Worksop’s Grafton Hotel, Susan Hale, and her mum Linda Allcroft, have supplied food to the project.

Susan, 37, said: “I think it’s important to help out your own community, and to help people who aren’t as fortunate as yourself.”

To find out more, or to volunteer, contact Shaun on 07923 109652 or go to www.7project.co.uk.