A homelessness charity from Kingston has won a regional award thanks to the success of its renowned Night Shelter project.

Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness (KCAH) beat a crowded field of worthy nominees to win the London-South East award for 'Inclusion' at Premier Radio's Love Britain and Ireland event on Tuesday (July 2).

The official text said that the KCAH had won for "an outstanding project supporting and serving people with additional needs."

The well-known homelessness group from Kingston was nominated by the listeners of Premier Radio — regarded as one of the biggest Christian radio stations in the world — for the award for the success of Night Shelter in Kingston.

As the Comet reported earlier this year, the Night Shelter project successfully gave shelter and security to around 240 people during the winter months since its opening in September 2018, largely thanks to the KCAH team and its dedicated team of Kingstonian volunteers.

One of its chief architects, KCAH Coordinator Sophie Mayor, collected the award at Tuesday's ceremony and spoke to the Comet about receiving recognition for the project.

"There were some really amazing charities that were nominated alongside side us in the category so we're really, really please to win," she said.

Quizzed on why she thought the project she coordinates for KCAH had won, Ms Mayor added that a deliberately open approach and dedicated team of volunteers could go some way to explaining its successes.

"A lot of our volunteers had such a great experience and the fact that we were so inclusive with our project" were behind the win, she said.

For example, unlike many night shelters for those experiencing homelessness in the UK, KCAH's Night Shelter refused to a have an evening curfew time by which those in need had to attend, meaning that they were able to help more people by keeping their doors open throughout the night and refusing to turn people away.

"Someone who is experiencing homelessness can come through the doors at anytime during the night.

"We don't exclude anyone with drug or alcohol dependency who are already marginalised by society or excluded... anyone needs a bed for the night is able to get one," Ms Mayor said.

In a later Tweet posted after receiving the award, a spokesperson for KCAH said:

"We are so incredibly proud that our Night Shelter have won Premier Radio Love Britain+Ireland Awards for ‘Inclusion’ ... Thank you to EVERYONE making the Night Shelter happen!"

KCAH will now attend Premier Radio's National Awards ceremony, scheduled for London in October.

For more information about the group, visit: www.kcah.org.uk