CARIS Islington

Islington Churches Cold Weather Shelter

The Islington Churches Cold Weather Shelter is open every year in the winter months. Seven churches in Islington offer hospitality to homeless guests and support them in finding more permanent accommodation.

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The cold weather shelters are a CARIS Islington project that run through the coldest months of the year, are staffed by volunteers from the community, and which help to provide shelter and hospitality for over 100 guests each year.

Islington, in spite of its fashionable image has areas of profound urban deprivation. It is the 14th poorest borough in the UK, [according to the Multiple Deprivation index] scores low on life expectancy for men compared with other boroughs in London, and high on suicide rates and depression. Many of our guests have alcohol or drug problems, are ex-offenders [18% last year], or have mental health issues.

In their time at the shelter, 30% of these guests are moved into/linked in with appropriate specialist support services including drug & alcohol services, mental health services, veteran services and multiple services for complex needs. 25% are linked in with other support services including asylum and refugee services, other health and wellbeing services, ethnic support groups, mentoring & befriending support etc. 10% are linked in with professional support to assist in re-negotiating their existing tenuous accommodation e.g. overcrowding, sofa-surfers, those evicted or threatened with eviction or at risk of abandonment.

Although the CWS project is not set up to provide accommodation for the street homeless and vulnerably housed, its purpose is to provide hospitality in a time when it is most needed, and to help signpost guests, where possible, towards other organisations who may be able to provide the appropriate levels of support.

Without the work of over 500 volunteers every year, it would not be possible to provide this invaluable service. If you would like to get involved, please see the list of churches below for a shelter that would be convenient for you, and call the shelter on 07913020738.

St Andrew's Whitehall Park
Union Chapel, Highbury Corner
St Peter De Beauvoir, De Beauvoir Square
Christchurch Highbury
St Lukes, Penn Road
All Saints, Kings Cross
St Gabriel's, Archway
City Temple, Holborn Viaduct
St Mary Magdalene's, Holloway Road
St Augustine's, Highbury New Park
Caledonian Methodist Church, Caledonian Road

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Barbara Walsh, a volunteer, wrote an article about the Debeauvoir shelter, saying that the shelter is "helping transform lives and bringing the community closer together". Please click here to read the full article.

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To donate:

If you wish to donate, you can either visit our Just Giving page or send a cheque made payable to “CARIS Islington” and sent to the Treasurer at:

The CARIS Office
The Annexe
St Mellitus Church
Tollington Park
London N4 3AG

Please note: If you want your donation to go to the Cold Weather Shelter project rather than to Caris as a whole, then please tell us.

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Click on the adjacent PDF to download our 2012 annual report.

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The Cold Weather Shelter (CWS) project’s participating churches each open their doors on a designated night of the week during the cold weather months of January, February and March. For a complete breakdown of the Mechanics & Logistics of how the project operates please click on the adjacent PDF.

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