Bishop of Loughborough helps out at homelessness charity One Roof Leicester

Bishop Guli Francis-Dehqani, Church of England Bishop of Loughborough, has made her first visit to One Roof Leicester as their new Patron.
One Roof Leicester (ORL) runs a Winter Night Shelter and helped to make a meal, to make beds and joined in social activities with guests.

The charity provides accommodation and support to people who find themselves homeless or destitute in Leicester.  ORL has a long term objective to reduce rough sleeping and homelessness in Leicester.

The charity runs a housing project which provides temporary accommodation for those who have experienced homelessness or rough sleeping and are struggling to find suitable accommodation. The people in the houses are provided additional support and befriending by members of the local community.

Each year  the One Roof Winter Night Shelter opens its doors offering shelter and hospitality to people that would otherwise be sleeping rough. 

Seven different faith venues in Leicester provide a safe place for up to 12 rough sleepers (guests) per night to sleep with eight other venues offering support. The guests are supported by a team of volunteers who provide hospitality, friendship and food. During their time on the shelter they are supported to achieve sustainable accommodation.

Bishop Guli visted the Winter Night Shelter last week when it was hosted by the 7th Day Adventist Church, University Road, Leicester.

ORL Manager Salma Ravat said: “Bishop Guli's visit was really appreciated by everyone at the Winter Night Shelter. She spent time talking to the volunteers about their role and the benefits they receive from helping. During the visit Bishop Guli helped to prepare the evening meal which was served to guests and volunteers in the evening. She also took time to talk to guests over games of dominoes and Jenga.”

Bishop Guli said: “I very much enjoyed my first visit to One Roof Leicester to see the work they do in the night shelters. I enjoyed meeting guests and volunteers, hearing people’s stories, playing games and sharing a meal.  The level of organisation, commitment and attention to detail is impressive and I was really encouraged by the warmth and friendship I experienced.”

When she was made Patron of ORL, Bishop Guli said: “Part of my role will be to help raise the profile of the charity, and to encourage people from all faiths and none to volunteer and contribute to supporting some of those who are most vulnerable in our community.”

Revd Helen Hayes, Chair of One Roof Leicester, said: “It is really important that the faith communities in Leicester speak out about homelessness in this city. Our houses and night shelter go some way to alleviating the problem, but we need support and help to do more, so we are hugely grateful to Bishop Guli.”


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