STAFF, volunteers, supporters and friends of the Camrose Centre have celebrated a decade of the service which seeks to help vulnerable people in Basingstoke and Deane.

The event held at the Tea Bar, in the Top of Town, acted as a chance for those who run the centre to say thank you to as many people as possible for their generosity of spirit, time and cash for the cause.

At the event one of the founding trustees, Andy Taylor, spoke of the service’s emergence from people who had supported the May Place House hostel, which had been founded by local churches working together.

Camrose, as a secular charity, operated from a building in Vyne Road before moving to its current location in Glebe Hall at St Michael’s Church seven years ago, which coincided with a change in management at Basingstoke Voluntary Action.

Mike Browning, current managing trustee at the Camrose Centre, said: “The role of today’s centre is to create somewhere where people can be safe, befriended, heard and helped to move forward, when they were ready.”

Mr Browning also said that the charitable organisation has a desire to move into larger premises that would be a hub for many different services for homeless people including outreach, early intervention and the foodbank.

Councillor Terri Reid, cabinet member for housing, regeneration, arts and heritage at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council also attended the event, saying the Camrose Centre is an important partner in addressing issues of homelessness in the town.

She also said the centre was at the very heart of Basingstoke’s Social Inclusion Partnership and was a well-respected founding member.

Since April 2018, the centre has helped 204 clients, of whom 111 claimed to have slept rough and a further 85 were homeless but are now in some form of temporary accommodation.