Rough sleepers in Swindon will be able to find a warm bed for the night at the borough council’s winter night shelter.

But more than that, as well as the overnight accommodation provided for twelve homeless people, six men and six women, at The Haven in Queens’s Drive, there will be a day centre, available for all homeless people.

There they’ll be able to get a hot meal and a drink, shower, get some clean clothes and also help, support and advice.

Becky Davison is the project leader for Swindon Night Shelter, which will manage the day centre.

She said: “The great thing about having the night shelter along with the day centre is that we can provide much more support for people during the day.

"They will have somewhere safe to be, and we've got people coming from Turning Point to help with drug or alcohol issues, Nationwide are going to come and help people with opening a bank account, Intel will help with teaching people basic computing skills and there'll be arts and crafts and therapeutic activities like that.

"Last year, when it was just a night provision it was very hard to find the time and space to work with people on helping them."

At night, after the day centre has closed, The Haven will be home to twelve people who put themselves forward for the scheme and who were selected by a special board.

Mike Ash, tSwindon Borough Council's head of housing said: "These are people who feel they are ready to move on. Often they have a chaotic lifestyle, but this will be the first step in getting out of that lifestyle and into housing."

After the fifteen weeks of the night provision, the 12 guests will be helped to find permanent housing. Of the 12 who used the first winter shelter at the old Carfax medical centre last year, seven are still in their tenancies.

The council's cabinet member for housing Coun Cathy Martyn said: "We're building on what we did and learned last year. This is so important - both Mike and I are volunteering here as well."

The scheme costs £40,000, mostly from a government grant, and after the night shelter closes in March next year, the day centre will continue to be operated by charity Swindon Night Shelter.

The shelter opens on Wednesday and the day centre will start operating shortly after.

Already volunteers at The Haven in Queen's Drive are stockpiling clothes and toiletries and supplies for their guests, both at the night shelter and the day centre.

But they'll be very glad to receive more.

But project leader Becky Davison asks that people don't make donations direct at the shelter.

Becky said: "We are sharing an entrance to the main road with the ambulance service and we must make sure not to block the ambulances.

"If people want to make donations we;d ask them to take them BSS House, Unit 4 at Cheney Manor. Postcode SN2 2PJ."

There is already a rail of warm clothes and shoes for the use of service users, but Becky says the shelter will need more.

She said: "What we really need is new underwear, in smaller sizes, for both men and women. We get through a lot of that.

"Other than that good, warm outdoor clothes, socks especially and good shoes and boots. That's very important. A lot of our guests really need some good shoes."

Toiletries are also welcome, shower gel, soap, shampoo and toothpaste as well as sanitary products for women.

Becky added: "We could also use some donations of food. We know we'll get through tons of coffee, tea milk and sugar every day, and we will be glad to receive supplies of everyday basic foods; bread, pasta."

There are 85 volunteers, up form 60, signed up to work at the shelter and day centre.

Those who'd like to volunteer can do so via the charity's website