BUSINESSES from all over the town received a tour of The Haven as Swindon Night Shelter sought financial support.

The charity runs the day centre which provides shelter, food and activities for homeless and vulnerably-housed Swindonians.

Project leader Becky Davison said her team is in desperate need of backing from companies in the town to continue carrying out their work.

She added: “We’ve seen massive growth this year – sadly. There’s been a dramatic increase in homelessness. We’re blessed that Swindon is such a giving town. All of our guests are our brothers and sisters and we need to work together to support them.”

Kaci Luper, 17, works with OrangeStripe OutSourcing, which is offering bookkeeping assistance to the charity.

She said: “This has been such an eye-opener. I now know I have led a privileged life and really been sheltered from so much.

“Our business is stepping up to help this organisation continue to do its good work and I call on other businesses to provide consistent financial support to help them cover their basic bills and keep on helping vulnerable people.”

Swindon Borough Council has gifted The Haven’s Queens Drive building until November and lease negotiations are underway.

Swindon Night Shelter is funded entirely by public donation of time, money, and local grants – and receives no funding from any public organisation to support its work.

Along with The Haven, it runs the night shelter, The Hub, which offers work experience to young people with learning difficulties, donated goods distribution centre The Hive, and community cafe The Gate.

Volunteer Dan said: “We have seen a rise in the number of people who are temporarily homeless due to the breakdown of a relationship, or been released from prison.

“We’ve also seen an increase in those who are homeless or vulnerably housed who are foreign nationals where English is not their first language.”

The charity seeks a main partner which can donate £1,000 a month for food and utility bills at The Haven, for official business partners donating £500 a month to pay for a part-time coordinator, and for associate business partners donating £100 a month to cover broadband costs.