A project which provides shelter to the homeless of Hastings and St Leonards over the winter months has been recognised for its ‘Excellent Practice’.
The Snowflake Winter Night Shelter has achieved the Housing Justice Quality Mark (HJQM) for Church and Community Night Shelters.
The HJQM is a set of quality standards designed to support and recognise shelters which achieve safe and effective practice.
The standards include volunteers’ training, guest and volunteers’ health and safety, referrals and links with other homelessness agencies, and data collection and sharing.
Shelters are accredited for either ‘Safe Practice’ or ‘Excellent Practice’.
HJQM accreditation provides benefits to shelter guests, staff and volunteers.
It also enables the community, local authorities, funders and insurers to be confident the shelter operates to a good standard.
The chair of trustees, of the Snowflake Winter Night Shelter, Andrew Crighton, said: “The HJQM accreditation of ‘Excellent Practice’ is a recognition of the dedication of the volunteers, staff, supporters and trustees in providing a much-needed service to local people on the fringe of society, often through no fault of their own.
“The night shelter, operating from the end of November to mid-March, not only provides a warm bed, hot food, drinks and shelter from the winter weather, it provides a safe place where guests will be treated with respect and without judgement, together with active engagement with volunteers who are able to listen and who care about them. We see this project as another way of reaching many who live ‘life on the fringe’.
“It does much more than provide comfort and shelter on bitterly cold nights - it could be the start of a new life.
“For more information about the night shelter, please see the website at www.snowflake-nightshelter.org.uk or the Facebook page at
Housing Justice chief executive, Kathy Mohan, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Snowflake Winter Night Shelter to the network of Housing Justice Quality Mark accredited night shelters.”
The HJQM was first piloted in winter 2013-2014 and is now offered to shelters in all parts of the country.
More than 20 shelters have been through the rigorous assessment process.