A DROP-IN centre for the homeless in Oxford will be celebrating its 30th anniversary on World Homeless Day next week.

The Gatehouse in Woodstock Road has provided help and support to the homeless for decades and will this week be inviting current and former guests, volunteers, staff and supporters to its anniversary celebration on October 10 which is also World Homeless Day.

The event will include information stands, live music and refreshments as well as short talks on national homelessness from a South East representative of Homeless Link, and on local homelessness issues by a representative of the Oxford Winter Night Shelter.

Chairman of the trustees, reverend canon Andrew Bunch, said: “Through care and concern for those who are homeless and vulnerably housed in Oxford, the Gatehouse can help individuals gain confidence, learn new skills, and hopefully rebuild their lives.

“The life and work of the Gatehouse is a great witness to the generosity of heart of the local community and all who are involved as volunteers, staff and supporters.

“It is enormously rewarding to be a part of this enterprise, and to see the range of services on offer to guests continuing to expand over the years.”

Oxford City Council believes about 36 people are sleeping rough in the city.

The Gatehouse was initially started by Oxford City churches as a winter daytime shelter in 1988, however, the range of services soon began to grow.

It became a charitable trust in 1991 and is staffed mainly by a team of dedicated volunteers.

Project director Katrina Horne added “In particular at this time we would like to recognise the contributions from many local individuals and organisations, together with our wonderful team of around 400 volunteers, without which we simply couldn't function.

“We hope to remain a key provider of support to Oxford’s homeless for many years to come.”

The anniversary will event will be held on Wednesday from 5pm to 8pm in the Kings Centre, Osney Mead.

Free transport to and from the event will be provided by local company Tappins Coaches.

For more information about the Gatehouse visit www.oxfordgatehouse.org