Who are we?

The name PROJECT 58.7 comes from a challenge given in the Bible in Isaiah chapter 58 verse 7 to “share your food, provide the poor wanderer with shelter and give them clothing”. We are a group of volunteers, of all ages and from all walks of life, mainly from the local Churches but also from the Community (Rotary clubs) with a shared aim to help vulnerable people. If you have worked with homeless people in the BENS night shelter you will have met some of our volunteers.

What do we do?

We share compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves and aim to provide a safe, comfortable place for homeless and vulnerable people to get an evening meal, a change of clothes and fellowship. In winter, November to March, we work together with the Basildon Emergency Night Shelter who are able to give our guests a warm bed for the night. All are welcome regardless of race, colour, creed, disability and sex. The volunteers lend a listening ear when needed and supply information about other agencies that may be able to help our guests. The volunteers and guests have rules and guidelines that must be adhered to in order to enable the smooth running of the shelters and to make for a safe, peaceful night.

Why are we targeting the homeless for our help?

There are many rough sleepers in the Basildon area. Some you may have seen around the town centre but there are many more who you would not be unaware of. They are frequently physically and verbally attacked, just because they are seen as “different”. They have their belongings stolen or destroyed because they are vulnerable. They are people just like you and me and most didn’t choose to be on the streets. They deserve to be treated with respect and to feel safe at night.

Project 58.7 needs your help! We open up in churches across Basildon five times per week, and give free meals, clothes and our love to anybody who arrives. Typically, our guests are local people experiencing tough times, homeless or just not able to afford a meal.  With your help we can make sure nobody in our town will be hungry, cold or without a friend.

How You Can Help

By Volunteering at any of the venues for at any of the shifts. Do as many shifts at as many venues you wish. Help weekly, fortnightly, monthly or just whenever you can. Be a standby volunteer to cover in emergencies. 

Don’t worry, your team leader will only allocate tasks to you that you are comfortable with. If you’re a talker maybe do the meet and greet, make friends with our guests and listen to their stories.  Are you the hostess with the mostest maybe you’re serving dinners, coffee, tea, drinking chocolate or juice. The next Mary Berry, maybe our cook is job for you. The boss guy- standing on the door and taking the names of the guests sounds like a job for you. None of the above, we can’t function without the washer upper and a friend in the kitchen. We all have different skills we can all contribute.

For these roles we use a DBS check and an initial induction training, but most of what you learn comes from spending time with us at the venues.

If you feel that volunteering isn’t for you we are always grateful for donations, sponsor one of our sleepout volunteers this December. We are always glad of new socks, hats and underwear. Toiletries for men and women.

Hopefully you will feel a great sense of achievement and satisfaction knowing that you have helped make someone else’s life a little easier. Many people feel that they would like to, “give something back to society”. You will most likely change your perception of homeless people in a positive way.

Our volunteer time slots

We are open five days of the week throughout the year at the following venues:

  • Monday 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Bell Tower,St Martin’s Square, SS14 1DX​
  • Tuesday 6 to 7pm at CGC, Time Square, SS14 1DJ ​
  • Wednesday and Thursday 6 to 7:30 at United Reformed Church, Honeypot Lane, SS14 2JZ​
  • Saturday 5:30 to 6:30 PM at Kingswood Baptist Church, Codenham Straight, SS16 5DH​

Project 58.7 are currently short of volunteers on our Tuesday and could do with an addition cook for Wednesdays but we would welcome your help on any day once a week or month or whenever you can manage.

Chris Locke Project 58.7 volunteer

“I have always had a heart for homeless people. Initially I gave gifts of money to those I’d meet. But later found out that gifts of food or sharing dinner and conversation with them was a better strategy.

“Two years ago, when I found out that my church was going to use our hall as an emergency night shelter, I jumped at the chance to volunteer.  When winter finished, and the Night shelters closed, I didn’t want to lose touch with our guests and joined Project 58.7 so that I could continue to be involved with my homeless brothers and sisters. 

“I look forward to my Monday and Wednesday nights at Project 58.7 and talking to our guests. In conversation they open up and give their story. This makes for fascinating and interesting discussions and also results in us becoming friends very quickly. And because they are friends helping them is a pleasure not a chore. But the real buzz is being able to provide the most important needs in life – food, clothing and to show God’s love. Our sessions are only one hour long, but the change you can make is so rewarding, the cold, wet, anxious, hungry, depressed person you met at the start of the evening leaves us with  a hot meal on board, some new clothes and set of friends from the streets to keep them company and make them less alone and vulnerable.

“It seems to me, life is a wonderful gift given freely, and in return giving gifts of help to others completes the circle. I believe we are here to make a difference and in one hours at the Project58.7 you can make that difference.”

Here are some of the things our other volunteers said about their experiences of volunteering at Project 58.7.

“It’s great being able to make someone’s day by doing something very simple and easy. When they appreciate it it’s great.”

“Positive experience — I enjoyed working with the other volunteers.”

“I felt apprehensive beforehand but in reality, it was brilliant.”

“In my experience all the guests were polite and well behaved.”

The stories featured here are personal accounts.

Here are some of the things our other guests said about their experiences of volunteering at the shelters:

“I love you guys.”

“I enjoyed being warm and safe.”

“All the volunteers are very helpful and caring.”

“Thank you for all you do.”

“Everyone has been good to me.”

“I can’t believe you come out every Monday all year round to bring us food.”