Council-funded emergency weather provision helps local rough sleepers

Funded by Watford Borough Council, Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) has meant that New Hope has been able to provide nine additional bed spaces for those who are sleeping rough

Published: Thursday, 1st March 2018

Due to the exceptionally cold weather and snow forecast, an emergency plan has been in operation all week. Funded by Watford Borough Council, Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) has meant that New Hope has been able to provide nine additional bed spaces over the past eight nights for those who are sleeping rough.

Dorothy Thornhill, Elected Mayor of Watford, said: “We have been funding SWEP since it was introduced almost 10 years ago in our town. It’s reassuring to know that New Hope is working tirelessly to bring vulnerable people safe inside when the temperature drops.  

“I also want to thank St Mary’s Church for opening their doors over the next few days to ensure everyone who needs one has a safe place to sleep.”

Steve Devine, the manager of New Hope’s Rough Sleeping Prevention Service, explained: “12 different individuals have accessed these emergency beds so far and two people have been able to move on into New Hope’s supported accommodation. We have been able to provide accommodation to everyone who has requested it; nobody has been turned away.”

Due to the forecasted high winds and heavy snow fall later on this week, New Hope are working with St Mary’s Church in Watford’s town centre to run a SWEP overflow in case of additional demand. Emergency accommodation will therefore be available at St Mary’s on the nights of Thursday 1 March and Friday 2 March. 

New Hope is urging all people who are sleeping rough in Watford to make contact with the charity so that they can ensure they have somewhere safe to stay.

If you see someone sleeping rough in Watford, call New Hope’s 24-hour emergency helpline on 0300 012 0168 to ensure that help is made available.

If you would like to donate money to help rough sleepers in Watford, a new initiative has been set up. Led by Watford Borough Council, Your Change Watford allows members of the public to donate to a central JustGiving page to help local rough sleepers move away from the streets and give them the opportunity to better their lives.

 

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