Rabbi Aaron Goldstein from Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue was one of 57 volunteers who enabled local homelessness charity, New Hope, to run a winter night shelter.
The Rabbi, along with other volunteers including local faith leaders, politicians and former service users, helped run the night shelter, known as SWEP+, every night from December 1 to March 31.
Rabbi Goldstein said: “Volunteering at the winter night shelter has been a moving experience and one which makes me proud that my synagogue supports New Hope. One can clearly see the difference that having shelter in cold weather makes. I have had many meaningful conversations with service-users and they reinforce my commitment to ridding ourselves of homelessness.”
Funded by Watford Borough Council, the winter night shelter provided accommodation for 105 different individuals; many of whom have now moved onto other New Hope accommodation services.
One of the guests said: “I didn’t need it all the time but for the time I used it, it has really saved my life. The thing that was really nice was the staff and volunteers. They really do all that’s possible to help us.”
Rod Edmonds, New Hope’s head of services, said: “New Hope will continue to provide support to people who are sleeping rough in Watford through the Rough Sleeping Prevention Service and the Intervention Team (which has just received funding for another year). If members of the public are concerned about an individual, we would ask them to call our 24/7 emergency line, 0300 012 0168.”