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Homeless charity ‘The Bus Shelter’ takes delivery of unique 7-bed sleeping pod

4 min read

Better Society
Source: Facebook/DoodleBuild

A Buckinghamshire-based homeless charity has added to their double-decker bus night shelter with a converted shipping container with 7 individual bedrooms to help the rough-sleepers of Milton Keynes.

New bus-themed sleeping pod bolsters charity’s capacity to help

Founded in 2017, The Bus Shelter MK is a place of shelter and support for Milton Keynes’ street homeless who wish to turn their situation around and re-integrate themselves into mainstream society. Now the charity has a brand new bus-themed 7-bed facility to keep the most vulnerable off the streets through the bitterly cold Buckinghamshire winter nights.

It sleeps 16 people, has a kitchen, and the charity bought it with a loan of £10,000.
The original Bus Shelter is a retired tour bus for the crews of stars including Robbie WIlliams and Rod Stewart. It sleeps 16 people, has a kitchen, and the charity bought it with a loan of £10,000. Source: Facebook/The Bus Shelter MK

Charity has beds on busses and container conversions to keep people off the streets

Homelessness can hit anyone, and it doesn’t discriminate. Many of us are only a few pay packets away from losing our own homes.

Run by a group of ordinary citizens, and relying on fundraising and generous donations of money and time to operate, The Bus Shelter MK’s mission is to home and help their residents back into lives where they can look after themselves and avoid sleeping on the streets. Giving them a warm place to sleep and a belly full of food is only the start of the process.

UntIl now, the charity had been operating out of a double-decker bus. In fact the was a retired tour bus for the crews of stars including Robbie WIlliams and Rod Stewart. It sleeps 16 people, has a kitchen, and the charity bought it with a loan of £10,000. 

They had been looking for a semi-permanent site to base the bus and a mobile toilet shower unit, when the ideal location was found a vacant storage building they were able to lease from the local council. 

After a really tough 2020, which saw the charity lose over 85% of their fundraising income, The Bus Shelter needed some good news. Well, you know how sometimes you have to wait for a bus… then three come at once? Same with good news.

With their new communal facilities building next door secured for showers, toilets, kitchens and laundry (currently under refurbishment for purpose), and somewhere safe to park the bus, things were starting to look up in 2021. The third bit of good news came in the form of a special delivery from bespoke shipping container conversions specialists Doodle Build. 

Find out more through their Website or Facebook. — and if you want to create a unique and bespoke space for your home or business, while also up-cycling a 2 tonne steel box that would eventually be left to sit and rot, check out Doodle Build, the custom container conversion experts who specialise in designing and building shipping container architecture.

Up cycling two tons of steel shipping container into a 7-bed sleeping pod is all in a days work for Doodle Build.
New 40ft. container arrives at Doodle Build for @thebussheltermk to be converted into a 7 bed homeless shelter. Up cycling two tons of steel shipping container into a 7-bed sleeping pod is all in a days work for Doodle Build. Source: Facebook/DoodleBuild
The units are spray foamed in a Polyeurethane insulation to 60mm. This prevents any moisture build up and gives a U-Value of w/mk 0.035. Coupled with a 1Kw wall heater, they are designed to become extremely cosy for the winter months.
Warm and dry by design. The units are spray foamed in a Polyeurethane insulation to 60mm. This prevents any moisture build up and gives a U-Value of w/mk 0.035. Coupled with a 1Kw wall heater, they are designed to become extremely cosy for the winter months. Source: Facebook/DoodleBuild
Each door in the homeless shelter has a tilt & turn window installed for ventilation and sunlight. Source: Facebook/DoodleBuild
7 heated rooms with electrics, beds and storage, built by Doodle Build Ltd.
The homeless shelter for @thebussheltermk has landed in Milton Keynes. 7 heated rooms with electrics, beds and storage, built by Doodle Build Ltd. Source: Facebook/DoodleBuild
Doodle Build have carried on the bus theme with a full size sign, complete with working headlights on a passive infrared sensor (PIR).
The homeless shelter we are replacing used to be a double decker bus. Doodle Build have carried on the bus theme with a full size sign, complete with working headlights on a passive infrared sensor (PIR). Source: Facebook/DoodleBuild
LED down lights, USB wall sockets, a reading light and a 1Kw wall heater. Furnished with a single bed and 3 x 65l storage boxes... All this in just over 3m2!!
Each bedroom in the homeless shelter is lined in a hygienic board, with Altro safety flooring. LED down lights, USB wall sockets, a reading light and a 1Kw wall heater. Furnished with a single bed and 3 x 65l storage boxes… All this in just over 3m2!! Source: Facebook/DoodleBuild
Pam Williams, Chair of the charity. “Our new home is a former Milton Keynes Council Landscaping Depot and to give us the room to operate we've supplemented the space with a small tract of land kindly leased by The Parks Trust. Given its former use it's needed considerable renovation and refurbishment to create sleeping accommodation for 9 guests, occasional dogs, a communal living area, kitchen, shower and laundry facilities.”
“We are moving to a new long term home and delivering a new era for The Bus Shelter MK.” Pam Williams, Chair of the charity. “Our new home is a former Milton Keynes Council Landscaping Depot and to give us the room to operate we’ve supplemented the space with a small tract of land kindly leased by The Parks Trust. Given its former use it’s needed considerable renovation and refurbishment to create sleeping accommodation for 9 guests, occasional dogs, a communal living area, kitchen, shower and laundry facilities.” Source: thebussheltermk.org
Selco Builders Warehouse - Selco Stars - The Bus Shelter MK Selco Builders Warehouse are proud that their Selco Stars scheme is supporting charities like The Bus Shelter MK, a charity that shelters the homeless in a double decker bus ? Source: Facebook/SelcoBW
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HELP THE BUS SHELTER MK HELP OTHERS: DONATE

The Bus Shelter MK provides shelter and support for up to 10 people at a time who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets of Milton Keynes.<br /> We provide a temporary home to approximately 30 people a year, people experiencing homelessness who would otherwise face an almost impossible task in getting off the streets.  We support our guests to regain their health, find work, sort out ID documents and benefits and move into a sustainable home.  We often continue to offer support for a few months after they have moved into their new home to make sure they have settled and to help with any unexpected challenges.<br /> We are preparing to move to a new long term home which will give everyone their own bedroom as well as kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities.  Our guests dogs will still be welcome, of course!<br /> This is a major undertaking for our small charity costing us over £150,000.  This follows months of extra costs and significantly reduced donations due to Covid-19 .... so we could really do with your help right now to help cover our bills!<br /> With your help The Bus Shelter MK can continue to provide safe, warm nights and hopeful days. We are changing lives - will you help us?