Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) activated in London


Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) has been triggered today as the weather forecast predicts temperatures will be dropping at 0 degree Celsius or below over the next few days.

As an emergency humanitarian response, all people who find themselves rough sleeping are offered emergency accommodation with the aim to preserve life.

Here at SPEAR, our Outreach Teams will be working additional shifts to ensure all rough sleepers are supported at this critical time. We are working closely with Local Authorities to find suitable and safe provision. Working extra shifts means we are able to spend ,more time on the streets, supporting those who are most vulnerable and liaising with local authorities to secure emergency accommodation. We are also providing vital goods and facilitating transport so people can get to the accommodation provided.

During this critical time, we postpone regular activities where we can so we can focus on implementing this emergency protocol. 

Since SWEP was activated earlier today, we have offered SWEPT support to over 40 rough sleepers across the boroughs in which we operate. 

This severe emergency protocol comes at a particularly difficult time as latest official figures show a startling rise in people sleeping rough in London. 

In July – September alone, 3,628 people were found to be rough sleeping, an increase of 24% on the same period last year. This increase shows 1,844 of these people, or 51%, sleeping rough for the very first time, suggesting the cost of living crisis is increasing homelessness rapidly.

To find out more about our Rough Sleeper Outreach service and about SWEP, please click here.

In other news...

London Charter to End Rough Sleeping

On Thursday 7th of December SPEAR’s CEO joined the launch of London’s first rough sleeping charter – the London Charter to End Rough Sleeping.

Our Health Link work last Winter

Winter is a particularly challenging time for people sleeping rough, with cold temperatures causing ill-health and exacerbating existing health conditions. We received funding from the South West London Integrated Care System to deliver Health and Wellbeing Days to people experiencing homelessness.

SPEAR’s Homeless Health Link Service celebrates new funding from the National Lottery Community Fund

This month, we are delighted to celebrate the start of a new three-year funding award from the National Lottery Community Fund towards our Homeless Health Link Service.