Cold snap saw opening of emergency Bognor shelter

FREEZING weather saw an emergency night shelter in Bognor Regis filled to capacity.

Some 20 rough sleepers took advantage of the respite offered by the beds at Glenlogie from the biting frost.

The Clarence Road shelter was run by the Stonepillow charity for Arun District Council.

Stonepillow’s head of client services, Stuart Gibbons, said: “The atmosphere in Glenlogie has been good. Those who have been using it were really glad to have a place to stay.

“If one started to cause a bit of trouble, the others have brought them into line without our staff having to do too much.”

The shelter’s last night was Sunday after opening for two weeks. It comes into use when the temperature drops to freezing or below for at least three nights. The past week saw a low of -6.9C last Saturday and -6.5C last Wednesday.

Arun offers the shelter under government rules but Mr Gibbons said the council had been flexible in allowing its operation on nights when thermometer was hovering around zero.

The age range of those who used the shelter was 19-70 years. About 80 per cent of them were males. One was a wheelchair user.

The shelter opened at 7pm nightly, and a meal was cooked by Stonepillow’s two members of staff and four or five volunteers before lights out at 10pm, and users had to leave by 7.45am the next day. This is the first winter Stonepillow has run the shelter.