Sleeping rough comes with many challenges, one being the risk of life-threateningly low temperatures. This is when Severe Weather Emergency Protocol is activated.

What is Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP)?

SWEP comes into force throughout most of the UK when the Met Office forecasts that the overnight temperature feels like zero or below.

What happens in Winchester when SWEP is called?

The Nightshelter works closely with Winchester City Council where they monitor the weather and alert all relevant agencies in the city when SWEP is coming into operation. Arrangements are then made by the Nightshelter and others to accommodate those known to the outreach teams. On these cold nights the Nightshelter welcomes an additional three people to stay for the night.

How does the Nightshelter accommodate extra people on cold nights?

The Nightshelter operates close to full capacity every night of the year. With 10 bedrooms and a total of 17 beds, the Nightshelter is able to offer over 6,000 bed spaces across a normal year.  In order to accommodate additional people experiencing homelessness during dangerously cold weather, three camp beds are put up in the communal area at the Nightshelter as part of the temporary accommodation provided in Winchester during SWEP.  The Nightshelter also provides a hot home-cooked meal and breakfast and advice is always on hand for SWEP residents from the City Council teams.

What should you do if you are worried about someone sleeping rough during cold weather?

If you have concerns about the health of anyone you see sleeping rough please contact Streetlink. You can do this via their app or call 03005000914. Please call 999 if someone is in immediate danger.

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