New drop-in centre for vulnerable people
A brand new drop-in-centre for vulnerable people has opened in Castle Donington, created by the town's new Baptist church
The Light Station is run by Castle Donington Community Church, which launched in September, and occupies a former shop in the centre of Castle Donington. It offers anyone seeking help and advice an opportunity to pop in and have a chat, and will be staffed by local volunteers who will provide visitors tea and biscuits and a friendly warm welcome.
The Light Station has multi-denominational support of other local churches, as well as the support of East Midlands Airport’s (EMA’s) chaplaincy team. It's the brainchild of Baptist minister the Revd Roy Monks, who leads the Community Church and the EMA team of seven voluntary chaplains.
Roy said, 'I’m delighted to have had so much local support in setting up the Light Station. We’ve given it this name because we want to bring light into people’s lives, giving hope and optimism to those who are experiencing dark times.
'Many people who live here have chosen to do so because of the local employment opportunities in and around the airport. In many ways, Castle Donington has quite a transient population. Many local people don’t have families to turn to in times of crisis and we’re here to reach out to them and support in any way we can.'
The Light Station is working closely with The Castle Donington branch of the Long Eaton and Sawley food bank which launched in the village in September last year. It was set up by local volunteer Rebecca Wykes who was inspired to do so after learning about a man who walked from Castle Donington to Ashby to access his nearest foodbank. To date, it has helped feed 62 people. It also provides hot meals during school holidays from which 178 people have benefitted. Following a recent bid to East Midlands Airport’s community fund, the foodbank was awarded a £2000 grant to help it refurbish its storage facility.
Rebecca Wykes who leads the voluntary foodbank team, said, 'Castle Donington is a rapidly growing community and although it may seem quite a leafy affluent area, there are people living here who have complex needs and are reliant on the help of foodbanks to get by.
'I’m delighted to be working alongside The Light Station which will help us engage with those who need our help.'
A special service of thanksgiving was held to officially open The Light Station on Sunday 24 March, 4pm at the Sailors and Soldiers Club, where the church meets.