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Basildon Homeless Shelter Given Highest Accolade for care!

Housing Justice is pleased to announce that Basildon Emergency Night shelter (BENS) has today, 06 July 2018, achieved the Housing Justice Quality Mark for Church and Community Night Shelters for Excellent Practice.

The HJQM accreditation is offered at either “Safe Practice” or “Excellent Practice”. The detailed standards include volunteers training, guest and volunteers’ health and safety, referrals and links with other homelessness agencies, and data collection and sharing.

HJQM accreditation provides benefits to homeless shelter guests, staff and volunteers. It also enables the local community, local authorities, funders and insurers to be confident that the shelter operates to a good standard in all that it does.

Phyl McLaren, Chair of the Basildon Homelessness Working Group, said: “We are naturally delighted to receive this recognition and acknowledgement of Excellent Practice. I would like to thank our Coordinator and all the volunteers as this award is a testimony for all their hard work. It reflects our commitment to provide the best possible and safest experience for guests and volunteers. It can also provide confidence to our funders and partners”.

Jennifer Gould, Housing Solutions Manager at Basildon Council, said “I am delighted that the hard work and dedication of Basildon’s Homelessness Working Group has been recognised and gained the, well deserved, quality mark for excellent practice. Basildon Emergency Night Shelter provides an invaluable service to rough sleepers during the coldest months of the year. I am very pleased to be able to support the Homelessness Working Group in their efforts and am proud of the strong relationship Basildon Council’s Housing Solutions Service and BENS have established.”

The HJQM was first piloted in winter 2013-2014 and is now offered to shelters in all parts of the country.

Housing Justice Chief Executive, Kathy Mohan said: “We are delighted to welcome BENS to the network of Housing Justice Quality Mark accredited Night Shelters.

“Church and Community Night Shelters are proving an effective response to homelessness across the country, providing shelter to people who might otherwise be forced to sleep on the street or sofa surf with friends or family.

“Many shelters are seeing the value of signing up to Housing Justice Quality Mark accreditation. More than 20 Church and Community Night Shelters have been through the rigorous assessment process across the country”

The service relies on the support of a great team of volunteers. If you would be interested in volunteering for the project please contact the CVS Volunteer Centre at for more information or Muriel, the Shelter Coordinator at

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