Following concerns raised to Shropshire Council regarding the safety of The Shrewsbury Ark’s current premises, the Trustees of the charity have taken the precautionary measure to temporarily close the centre to clients.

However, The Ark is more than a physical building and location; The Ark’s outreach team will continue to go out into the community to engage with rough sleepers and other vulnerable people who use the services to ensure they still have access to the support they need.

“This will include ensuring those sleeping rough have food and drink, have access to post, and most importantly still have people to talk to for support,” says David Doonan, Ark Manager.

“Our volunteers will also continue to support our clients in other ways such as attending doctor and other appointments with them. We will also be providing clothing and other items such as rucksacks and sleeping bags where needed,” he adds.

The Ark’s Chair, Karen Higgins says the decision to close was a difficult one but the Charity’s clients, volunteers and staff staff safety are always the number one priority of the Trustees.

“We have a duty of care for all those who use the building,” says Karen. “After concerns were raised to the Council, the Trustees made the difficult decision to temporarily close the Ark for day-centre services as of Monday 29 April until the building could be inspected by a structural engineer.”

“Since then some other safety issues have been brought to our attention and these need addressing,” she confirms.

It’s anticipated the work undertaken to ensure all who use the building are safe will take a few weeks to complete. In this time, while the building is closed to clients, Ark staff and volunteers will have access to the building and will continue working with other agencies to ensure clients can still be supported.

“These latest developments add a note of urgency to our plans to a move to more suitable premises in the near future," Karen concludes.