Robes Project Shelter for Homeless People


This year St Matthew’s Church will again participate in the Robes Project – a winter shelter for homeless people.  The first night will be Tuesday 23rd January, and it will continue each Tuesday night until 6th March 2018. Volunteer training will take place on Tuesday 16th January 2018 at 7pm. If you are interested in volunteering for the Robes Project then please attend the training evening to learn about the various roles and responsibilities. You will be able to sign up for different shifts there and then, so bring your diary.

The shelter will opperate in the coldest winter months. Guests will sleep in the church on Tuesday evenings. On other nights they will stayed in various other churches in the area. For instance on Fridays the will sleep in Christ Church Blackfriars. The shelter offers the guests an opportunity to arrange suitable longer term accommodation. The Robes Project advice team will assist the guests with this process.

If you would like to volunteer with the Robes Project then please register now, and come along to the training evening on Tuesday 16th January 2018 at St Matthew’s Church Brixton.


Picture of the tables 2015

The tables and chairs are set out in the Church

Guest Timetable
7pm Guests arrive and register.
8pm Guests and volunteers share a meal together.
10pm Lights out.
7am Breakfast is served.
8am Guests leave for the day, with instructions on where to go the following evening.

guests chatting before dinner

The guests chat before dinner is served

Volunteer Timetable
First shift (evening shift)
6:oopm Volunteers arrive to rearrange the church chairs, set up the beds and bedding, and lay the tables.
7:30pm The evening meal is served. Volunteers eat and chat with guests.
9:00pm As the evening quietens down, volunteers begin to leave.

9:30pm Night shift arrives and is briefed by outgoing shift.
10:00pm Lights go out.

Robes breakfast volunteers

Robes Project volunteers in January 2015

6:00am Morning shift arrives and cooks breakfast.
7:00am Breakfast is served.
8:00am Guests leave. Volunteers tidy church and finish washing breakfast dishes.
8:30am Volunteers leave.



The Robes Project was set up in January 2007 to support people who are homeless, by running a temporary night shelter in churches, church halls, community halls. It operates between November and April of each year and hosts between 15 and 20 guests each night.

The Robes charity supports approximately 50 people each year, each of them staying for about a month. The guests have accommodation, breakfast and dinner, community with fellow guests and volunteers and, of course, they have access to an advice worker.

The stability and rest afforded by staying at the night shelter provides a platform for them to address other issues they face such as their housing, health, relationships, finances and legal matters.

It has over 400 volunteers who run the night shelters in teams. About 21 church venues host the project on a rota basis. Without the dedication of the volunteers and churches, the whole project would not be able to operate.

Annually the Robes Project runs fundraising events. The biggest event is a Sleepout at Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge. Over the past three years this event has raised over £200,000 which has been crucial to the continuation of the vital work of the project.