A NIGHT shelter for homeless people, at the Salvation Army's base, will be open continuously from December 22 to January 2 – but the charity's Worcester shop is set to close.

Currently, the Salvation Army only opens as a night shelter when temperatures hit zero or below, as part of the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) in partnership with the Caring for Communities and People charity (CCP).

But from December 22 to January 2, the shelter at the charity's base in The Trinity will open from 9pm each night, with rough sleepers able to stay overnight and have breakfast before leaving.

The Salvation Army's church leader, Major Diane Henderson, said: “We are not waiting for the temperature to drop. We are opening so that we have somewhere over the Christmas period for rough sleepers to come.

"It will be staffed by volunteers of the CCP as we work alongside the charity in Worcester.

“We are working towards installing a shower and some dryers so that if they come in with wet clothes, whilst they are sleeping we can get staff to dry them.”

This news comes as The Salvation Army announced that its shop in The Trinity would be closing down for good on December 19.

Angela Turberfield, a volunteer at the shop, said: “We don’t get the footfall where we are, and the costs are going up. We are all volunteers so that doesn’t cost anything.

“There has been a Salvation Army shop in the town for more than 25 years in various places so it is disappointing to close but, having said that, staying and asking the volunteers to sit in the shop and wait for people to come in when there is no footfall is not on.”

She added: “All the other charity shops are in Mealcheapen Street, so people go past The Trinity. A lot of people do not even know we are here.”

Major Henderson added: “We do not have much footfall because we are on a side street. Keeping the charity shop open for the footfall that is coming in isn’t viable.”