In 2019 we were selected for the DIY SOS Big Build for Children in Need which saw thousands of strangers come together to create our Safe@Silas project.
On 3 September, people flocked to St Silas Church in Blackburn where they were meted by Nick Knowles and the gang from the BBC programme. This group of Nightsafe Heroes were briefed about the charity and got to meet spokespeople from the charity and find out why this centre was so desperately needed.
The original nine-day build schedule had to be extended due to the amount of work required to make the shelter suitable, but the team finished it after a gruelling 14 days.
This new centre transformed an old, disused church hall into a stunning six bedroom shelter for young people each with an ensuite, staff quarters with disabled access, communal kitchen and dining room, larder, utility room, offices and outdoor space.
This project, funded by Children In Need as part of their ‘Big Build’ for Children In Need, enabled us to support a further six young people and build further partnership links with our funders and the local community.
The programme aired on November 13 – and all the volunteers who were involved in the programme were invited to attend a special screening at neighbouring St Silas Church to watch the show together, along with young people the charity supports, Nightsafe staff, supporters and stakeholders and representatives from the show.
The building may be more modern and up-to-date, but what takes place within the walls is the same as that on the first day of our operation – an open door, a listening ear, warmth physical and emotional, a desire to meet the needs of the young people and the provision of a home.