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Project information

Vital Homeless Support Service

Our essential support service provides a day centre for individuals most in need, the project will provides a free hot cooked breakfast, hot showers, free laundry and clothing bank to homeless and vulnerably house individuals in Cambridge.

January 2019 - January 2020

Charity information: Wintercomfort for the homeless

Wintercomfort for the homeless logo
  • Need


    Our service users are people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Cambridge, many of whom are dealing with addiction, mental health problems, history of offending and chaotic lifestyles.

    Our project is looking to offer warmth, compassion and support to a marginalised and often forgotten group of people.


    Our project will offer a free cooked breakfast, warmth, laundry facilities, hot showers, clean clothes alongside supportive staff and volunteers. We believe that these services key to getting homeless people through the door and to maintaining their health and human rights. We have a non-judgemental approach that has enabled Wintercomfort to develop a positive relationship with Cambridge’s homeless population.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide all rough sleepers in Cambridge the opportunity to access basic welfare facilities


    » Provide hot cooked breakfast for our service users, alongside our dedicated team of support staff to improve the lives of the homeless community.
    » Provide warm showers to our service users.
    » Provide a free and accessible laundry facility for the homeless community of Cambridge.
    » Provide access to a free clothing store and essential bedding to support rough sleepers.

    What success will look like

    We will keep detailed data on the number of service users coming to our building accessing our welfare project. We will keep records of the number of individuals attendances.

  • Impact


    Our welfare project is the cornerstone of the services that we offer to enable individuals to live with and recover from the detrimental impacts of homelessness. We offer a wide range of recreational activities, learning & development and employment opportunities all of which make a lasting change in people lives. The welfare project enables individual to access these other services and make a lasting change in their lives. We have countless examples of lives that our work has transformed.


    There are a number of significant risks that could influence the the success of our project. One risk is that we don't raise enough funding to keep the service running seven days a week and we are constantly looking for new funding opportunities to minimise the risk of not raising funds to support our work.

    Other risks are minimised such as challenging behaviour through our excellent ongoing training and induction programme for staff and volunteers.


    We report to all our donors on a quarterly basis using our newsletters, we send out around 900 per edition. We make excellent use of social media to keep our donors updated on work and to encourage local people to raise money for a local issue.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £130,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £51,000 Breakfast Breakfast (£2p/day, 70 p/day, 365 days)
      £62,000 Staffing Staffing costs plus training
      £17,000 Building cost Laundry, cleaning, energy bills, upkeep and inspections

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Individual givers £35,000 Guaranteed
    Trust and Grant income £63,000 Guaranteed
    Local churches £6,000 Guaranteed
    University fundraising £6,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Cambridge ranks in the top 20 UK local authorities for numbers of rough sleepers; due in part to a lack of services in neighbouring authorities across Cambridgeshire and the Fens in particular driving people to the city; and in part due to rising house prices and high costs for rental properties (accounting for 50% of the population compared to 30% nationally) with both running far ahead of wages and benefits.


    Our service users are people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Cambridge with many dealing with addictions, mental health problems, history of offending and chaotic lifestyles. We are open 7 days a week and last year:

    668 individuals (16915 visits) used our essential support services

    5710 cooked breakfasts were provided

    406 individuals engaged in our basic skills and education programmes

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We worked with 70 homeless people or people at risk for homelessness every day last year and nearly 700 individuals - a 100% increase in 5 years.

    Wintercomfort has served the homeless community in Cambridge in excess of 25 years. We are very well respected and supported by the local community.

    We are the only day centre service provider within Cambridge and we have an excellent local reputation.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    James Martin - Services Manager

    James heads up all of our welfare services and has many year of experience of running succesful projects to support homeless people.