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Winter plan in place to support rough sleepers

Council ready to activate severe weather protocol

John Herring

John Herring

john.herring@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886633

Unite to end homeless in Newbury

WEST Berkshire Council has triggered its winter plan to support single people and childless couples who are sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough with a warm place to stay.

The Winter Plan means that the council is ready to activate the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol, (SWEP) when temperatures are forecast to be below freezing conditions for three consecutive days. 

Accommodation is made available at Two Saints as well as wider support and advice. SWEP also means that people from outside the district who are at risk of sleeping rough receive support.

The Winter Plan has been developed by The Homelessness Strategy Group over the last year. 

Voluntary groups and charities including West Berkshire Homeless, Loose Ends, Eight Bells and the Newbury Soup Kitchen will be continuing their efforts to ensure that rough sleepers receive help, including supporting Two Saints. 

West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Housing and Homelessness, Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley and Cold Ash) said: “The council works all year round to reduce homelessness and support people who sleep rough. We’re absolutely committed to ensuring that no one has to sleep outside; it is one of our priorities.

“This becomes even more important when it is extremely cold. People become homeless for many reasons but when they do it’s important they know that help is available to get them back on their feet. When SWEP is activated it will remain active for as long as necessary to make sure that all rough sleepers who need a warm, safe place are found somewhere to stay.”

Anyone at risk of sleeping rough on the streets should go to West Berkshire Council’s offices in Market Street, Newbury for support. Anyone who becomes homeless when the offices are closed should contact the council’s Emergency Duty Team on 01344 786543.

People can also use Streetlink which enables them to direct rough sleepers to local services that can support them.

An alert can be sent to StreetLink via https://www.streetlink.org.uk/ 

The details are sent to the local authority or outreach service for the area to help them find the individual and connect them to support. If you think the person you are concerned about is under 18 please do not contact StreetLink but instead call the police.

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