A HOMELESS day centre is opening a new branch in Malvern, a year after the death of a homeless man in the town.

Maggs Day Centre in Worcester is set top open a ‘mini’ day centre in the town after the death of Joby Sparrey, a homeless man who was found in the doorway of Brays Department store last Christmas.

The Maggs Day Centre Malvern will be in the Salvation Army Hall in Newtown Road on two mornings each week, supporting homeless and vulnerable people in the area.

The centre was proposed by Malvern Cares, a group of Malvern charities, residents and councillors including the Malvern Hills Foodbank, Churches Together in Malvern, the Salvation Army and Lyttelton Well who have come together in response to the increasing numbers of people struggling with problems of homelessness.

Mel Akers, chairman of Maggs Trustees, said: “Malvern Cares asked us to help and I am sure local people will respond to their appeal for funds.”

The initial cost to set up the Salvation Army Hall in Malvern as a day centre will be £25,000 and it will have shower and laundry facilities and provide simple meals for breakfast and lunch to encourage people in greatest need to come there.

More than 100 people were frequent users of the Malvern Hills Foodbank last year and many of them are likely to benefit from the new centre.

Malvern Hills district councillor Samantha Charles, who founded Malvern Against Homelessness, said: “Maggs have already secured a large proportion of the funds but we need to raise another £7,000 locally.

“It would be great to open the centre before Christmas, one year after the very sad death of local man Joby Sparrey on the street of our town. If you can, please help us by donating at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MalvernCares.”

In December, councillors voted unanimously in favour of adopting a new homelessness strategy in Malvern as part of the Worcestershire Strategic Direction for Tackling Homelessness 2018 -2021.

The decision came after they heard that the number of rough sleepers in Worcester had risen from 12 to 24 causing fears there could be a similar increase in Malvern if no action is taken.