About Us

Our history

Birmingham Christmas Shelter is a local charity that has raised funds and recruited volunteers each year since 1974 to provide local adults who are homeless or otherwise alone at Christmas with a free warm, safe and welcoming place to eat, shower, sleep and enjoy Christmas.

Every year we open our doors to our guests for several days and nights during the Christmas week, when most of the other services they rely on, take a well-earned rest and close down.

We became a registered charity in 1991 and changed our name from Birmingham Open Christmas to Birmingham Christmas Shelter in 2007.

We make sure we publish the venue we use on this website.  For a week each year from 1992 to 2005 we had use of St Martins Youth and Community Centre in Gooch Street, Highgate but eventually outgrew the venue with the numbers coming to us.  Christmas 2005 saw us relocate to St George's Community Hub, Great Hampton Row, Newtown that was able to provide us with a purpose built kitchen, a dining room, several large rooms and a free car park.  It has been a fantastic environment for our guests and volunteers and easy to get to with good public transport links.

It was with great regret that we were prevented from opening in 2020 as a result of government restrictions to help control the Covid-19 pandemic.  Thankfully  Birmingham City Council was funded to provide all homeless people with some food and a safe place to sleep and shower.  However, we all knew this could not replace the sense of having fun together in the pop up shelter that we are able to offer.   We will be opening again in 2021.

Our Trustees

Birmingham Christmas Shelter is run by a board of volunteer trustees all of whom have experience as a volunteer during Shelter Week.

This enables us to make use of our knowledge and experience of the needs of and issues for our volunteers and guests in our planning.

Trustees attend frequent meetings throughout the year to improve how things are run and plan the operational aspects of the charity.  We are a very operational board and at least one of us will be on duty at all times during the Shelter Week to make sure things run smoothly.  As we receive no statutory funding, we are totally reliant on donations in cash and in kind from local people and businesses and spend a large part of each year fundraising to make it possible to open at Christmas.  Details of how you can get more involved in this, is available on this website.

Shirley

Kerrie

Martin

Zak

Tej

DJ

Governance

Birmingham Christmas Shelter is a registered charity - number 1002891.  It is underpinned by a Charitable Declaration of Trust last updated in 2019; this trust deed can be read here.

In keeping with charity law, Birmingham Christmas Shelter completes and files its annual accounts and trustee's annual report with the Charity Commission within 10 months of the end of the financial year.  A summary of these documents is published each year by the Charity Commission and can be seen here.

Our trustees and volunteers work to a regularly updated set of operational policies to ensure consistency in the way we work and that we follow best practice in health and safety and inclusion.  All our volunteers receive training prior to working with our guests and we have clear expectations on behaviour to guarantee that both volunteers and guests have a welcoming and safe time.  There are more details of how you can volunteer or attend our Shelter as a guest on this website.

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Birmingham Christmas Shelter, PO Box 17677, Birmingham, B13 3PS

Registered Charity 1002891

Tel: 07846 299 336
Email enquiry@birminghamchristmasshelter.org


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