PEOPLE in Devizes are being asked to help a homeless charity find premises where a night shelter can be set up in the town.

The charity Opendoors led by John Saunders has managed to get grant towards paying for a hostel manager but there are fears the cash could be lost if a place to put the shelter is not found soon.

Opendoors committee member Sue Buxton said she is worried that because of some hostility towards sites identified in the town for a shelter Wiltshire Council may move the project to a different town where a site is easier to find.

She said: "My main concern is that because of a meeting called by St. Andrew’s Church, which was just meant to let local people know what was being proposed , there was such hostility towards the project, that the Church decided that they should not go ahead, even though the building work necessary had been costed and approved.

"Wiltshire Council has been looking for other suitable premises, but as it is proving difficult to find suitable premises in Devizes.

"It would seem the council has decided that it would be easier to use the money in another Wiltshire town, because the money has to be spent within a very short timescale, or it will be lost.

"This will mean that Devizes Opendoors will lose the Government money that John Saunders applied for to provide a hostel in Devizes, with a paid overnight hostel manager unless suitable premises can be found in Devizes very soon."

She urged Devizes people to support the idea of a shelter and to come up with ideas for where it could be sited.

Mr Saunders said: "Finding a venue to act as an emergency shelter is proving harder than first imagined. The place needs to be suitably equipped, scarcely used by others and acceptable to those living in the area.

"Opendoors wants to work with local people and, through this, increase the general level of understanding of what Opendoors is and how it helps." It is inviting people to joining them in their annual sponsored sleepout at St. Mary’s Church, New Park Street on December 1. Email