A HOMELESS centre is busy gearing up for a visit from the Archbishop of Canterbury tomorrow.
The Most Rev Justin Welby will dedicate a new training room in Harp’s Bradbury Centre, in York Road, Southend, during a whistlestop tour.
The centre, where the homeless receive training in skills needed to get them back on their feet, is buzzing with excitement ahead of the visit.
Gill Garwood, Harp’s chief executive, said: “It is such a great honour for Harp to be recognised by the Archbishop for the work we do in helping homeless people, and this visit is a great morale booster for our staff and users.
“There is a tremendously exciting atmosphere around the Bradbury Centre in the lead-up to welcoming the Archbishop, and we are all very busy with preparations to ensure this will be a most memorable occasion.”
Harp is supported by many local churches, and this visit is part of the centenary celebrations of the Diocese of Chelmsford, which Southend is part of.
Every year about 2,000 people in the area need assistance with homeless issues. The Bradbury Centre, which Harp opened in March 2014, provides essential services.
These include emergency night shelter accommodation, a day centre and training. Improved facilities at the Bradbury Centre will enable Harp to help even more people.
Facilities include a 24-hour service for those needing emergency accommodation. This new round-the-clock approach is proving effective, leaving the homeless in a better position to improve their situation.
The archbishop will also visit the Storehouse Community Centre, in Coleman Street, which gives tea, coffee, meals, food bags and clothes to people in need.
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, recently marked the centenary by completing a ten-mile walk, from Leigh to Hockley, via Southend, as part of ten walks he will carry out to mark the diocese’s 100 years.
He said: “We are honoured the Archbishop of Canterbury has accepted our invitation to join us for our centenary celebrations.”