Thames Reach
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Help for rough sleepers during the cold weather

20 January 2017


Rough sleeping outreach landscape
Additional outreach shifts are taking place during the cold weather.

Emergency bed spaces for people sleeping rough are being made available across London, in order to prevent deaths during the current spell of severe cold weather.

Outreach teams, including Thames Reach’s London Street Rescue Service, Tower Hamlets SORT and Croydon Reach, will be working hard to find and assist anyone sleeping rough into the extra accommodation being made available while freezing temperatures persist.

The efforts form part of the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP), which guides local authorities on how to minimise the dangers to people sleeping rough during cold winter weather.

SWEP is activated when the forecast shows temperatures dropping to zero or below for three consecutive nights.

Catherine Parsons, Thames Reach’s area director responsible for outreach work, said: “With the weather being so cold at the moment, it’s vital we do all we can to get people inside. More beds are being made available and we’re operating additional outreach shifts.

“The public can help us by reporting the location of anyone they see sleeping rough to Streetlink.”

If you see someone sleeping rough, call the Streetlink number on 0300 500 0914 or visit their website at