A CHARITY which offers daytime services to homeless people in Newport has re-launched at a new premises, more than two years since it was told it would have to leave its old location.

The Olive Branch day centre was re-opened at 111 Lower Dock Street yesterday (November 5) in front of a cheering crowd.

(VIDEO: Cutting the ribbon at the re-launched Olive Branch in Newport)

Alison Hawker, who runs the centre with a team of volunteers, said: "It’s been an amazing turnout. We’re really pleased with the support that’s come in from local people."

The Olive Branch provides homeless people with food and drink, clothes, and donations of things like blankets and sleeping bags.

"People don’t have to be referred to us, they can just turn up and we try to support them with whatever need they have there and then, and then eventually refer them onto other organisations for things like detox and rehab," Ms Hawker said.

READ MORE: Homeless shelter seeking new home

Ms Hawker thanked the people and organisations who helped supply the Olive Branch, and said the charity's biggest challenge was to secure continued funding.

"This is our launch, we’ve got this for six months but we desperately need funding," she said. "There’s a massive need – we’ve already registered 30 people that are rough-sleeping."

Town councillor Tom Suller (Marshfield ward) said the launch was a "momentous day" for Newport.

"The homeless need help – it’s our duty to help these people," he said.

The Lower Dock Street centre is next door to another homeless initiative, One Twelve Coffee, which offers work placements to people who have experienced homelessness.

READ MORE: Newly opened One Twelve Coffee has staff buzzing

Olive Branch chair of trustees, Julia Osmond, said she hoped the day centre could develop its services in future.

"What we would really to do is expand the services we offer and be able to have more facilities, but unfortunately we just haven’t got enough money.

"We’re doing everything we can but it's difficult.

"We want to offer things like introductions to education courses so [homeless people] can build up their portfolios and hopefully move on."

Homeless people, Ms Hawker said, "have been trodden on for such a long time".

"We try to build a relationship [with them] so they trust us to help them," she added.

"They live on the margins of society and people want to leave them there – we don’t, we want to help."