Charity

Homelessness charity receives £10,000 donation towards new premises

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A BRAINTREE charity has welcomed a significant donation towards a new building after its base was wiped out by a fire.

Braintree Emergency Night Shelter, known as BENS, was left without a premises after arsonist Ben Wilson set fire to the listed building in the High Street in February last year.

Wilson, 20, was living at the shelter when he set fire to it and was sentenced to five years and four months in prison after being charged with arson with intent to endanger life.

BENS is now actively looking for a new premises in Braintree and says it is pursuing a number of possibilities.

Chair of trustees Tony Britten said: “We are in negotiations at the moment. We have had some brilliant support and are fundraising very successfully at the moment.

“In the last week we have had a £10,000 donation from an individual .

“We have a mixture of private donors, individuals and organisations, it’s very encouraging.

“There’s still an urgent need in our town at the moment for housing, homelessness is an increasing problem.

“We are building a bigger team of people to help the homeless because we don’t need just a premises we need people to support, encourage and help get people out of homelessness.

“The old building we had was listed and we had a lot of difficulty doing anything to it. Our volunteers did an incredible amount of work to get it up and running.

“We are now looking for a four bedroom house that can accommodate four people, with an office for staff, which is smaller and more manageable.

“We are a long way down the route for that path, but we will be buying this time.”

Fore more information or or to volunteer your time, visit bensbraintree.org.uk or call Tony on 07711268951.

Source: The Daily Gazette

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