Our Health Link work last Winter


The health needs of people experiencing homelessness are likely to be chronic, multiple and complex. It can reduce their life expectancy by 30 years. Caught early, these health issues could be treated and monitored, leading to many other benefits.

Winter is a particularly challenging time for people sleeping rough, with cold temperatures causing ill-health and exacerbating existing health conditions.
Accessing healthcare is fraught with barriers, such as having no address to receive letters, no phone credit to make
appointments and no money to travel to appointments.

We received funding from the South West London Integrated Care System (SWL ICS) to deliver two Health and Wellbeing Days to people experiencing homelessness in Richmond and four in Wandsworth and Merton, as well as follow up one-to-one support.
The aim was to improve access and engagement with healthcare services over the winter months.

How we supported people

In Richmond, 2 drop-in days were held in community venues in April and May 2023. 

We also delivered 2 drop-in days in Wandsworth and 2 drop-in days in Merton between January and March 2023. 

In both boroughs, 25 health and wellbeing partners attended including the NHS, as well as a volunteer GP who specialises in mental health.

The full report can be found here.

The full report can be found here.

Digital Programme

It’s well known that people experiencing homelessness face exclusion from society due to lack of digital access and
Getting online means access to useful support and services, such as healthcare.
We also received funding from South West London Integrated Care System’s Innovation Fund and HSBC to deliver a digital inclusion programme to people who have experienced homelessness. The aim of the project was to increase access to online healthcare services by providing people with equipment, skills, confidence and support.

The full report can be found here.

In other news...

Improving services for the homeless Roma community in Kingston

Last week SPEAR hosted a co-production event which brought together people from the Roma rough sleeping community and those working with them to better understand their needs and explore ways to improve our services in Kingston.

Yellow alert for hot weather in London

SPEAR is encouraging those rough sleeping to stay alert as they are more vulnerable and may need help to stay safe.

SPEAR signs joint letter to party leaders

We’ve joined over 50 homelessness organisations in signing Homeless Link’s letter to Rishi Sunak, Sir Keir Starmer and Sir Ed Davey