When Sanctuary started back in December 2015, the Methodist church had just installed a domestic washing machine and tumble dryer in the shower room in anticipation of washing clothes for our homeless guests.
What we didn’t anticipate was just how much washing we would find ourselves doing. We are running at 26+ bags of guest washing per week plus bedding, towels and kitchen laundry. The two domestic machines have done marvellously, with only one break down, but that cannot last. In view of the demand for this service, we have now converted part of the churches basement into a new dedicated laundry with a commercial washer and gas powered dryer (for efficiency). We still expect to run the two old machines for washing kitchen items etc., but all homeless guests washing will now be carried out in this new “Basement Laundry”.
In order to achieve this we sought grant support and we need to say a very big thank you to Kent County Council – Members grants for £7000, City Praise Centre – £5000, Winners Chapel International Dartford – £5000, The Lions (Gravesend) – £500; plus approximately £2000 in other gifts. Re-decorations and other “DIY” works have been given “in kind.” These grants etc. paid for the initial works bringing the laundry into operation. We are now looking to raise a further £1624 to install cupboards/work surface etc. to finish the project.
Only time will tell how much it will cost to run this facility, but as it is staffed by an enthusiastic band of volunteers, costs will be kept to a minimum.
New volunteers are always welcome to help spread the load; so if you have some time and a wish to help those in our society for whom life is very hard, please contact the Methodist Community Centre Manager – tel 01474 328249 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss volunteering or giving financial support.