A HOSTEL in Worcester has received a £5,000 boost to meet the rising costs of providing shelter during the coronavirus pandemic as staff successfully keep infections at zero.

St Paul’s Hostel in Tallow Hill, Worcester has received a grant of £5,040 from the Morrisons Foundation and so far not had a single reported case of Covid-19 for staff and residents.

The much-needed funds will help the charity prepare and provide hot meals to homeless people in the hostel which offers 24-hour support. Annamarie Balram, fundraising manager at St Paul’s Hostel Worcester said: “We are delighted to be recipient of the grant award from the Morrisons Foundation. Covid-19 has brought many challenges to the homeless community.

“We at St Paul’s are working tirelessly to ensure that we continue to support people ‘live through homelessness’ ensuring they have a safe place to stay and making Worcester a city where homelessness is rare, brief and seldom-recurring.”

David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee said, “Morrisons is committed to helping the most vulnerable in our society. We know that the coronavirus outbreak presents a particular risk to homeless people and I’m delighted that the Morrisons Foundation has been able to help fund St Paul’s Hostel’s vital work.”

The Morrisons Foundation was set up by Morrisons supermarket in 2015 and awards grants for charity projects which help improve people’s lives. Since launching over £29 million has been donated to hundreds of charities across England, Scotland and Wales.

Jonathan Sutton, the hostel's chief executive, said the donation would help meet 'additional costs, due to the Covid emergency, of creating and providing wonderful food for the residents'.

Mr Sutton said the hostel got 'ahead of the curve in early March' with a contingency plan, Operation Resilient Place. He said: "This was implemented because we could see the impact of Covid 19 on our residents could be terrible. We introduced additional measures such as repeated cleaning, hand sanitisation etc. We also changed the way meals were offered to keep social distancing. Since late mid-March our meal times have four (not one) sittings so we reduce the number of residents in the dining room at any one time. This takes more of our chef time to prepare, cook and serve."