*The Mayor of London activated SWEP on 05/01/2022.
What is SWEP?
When the weather is forecasted to be very cold for three consecutive nights, Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) is activated. SPEAR, in partnership with the local authorities, is able to provide emergency accommodation for those with nowhere else to go.
When SWEP is activated, SPEAR’s Outreach Teams become even busier than normal as they try to make contact with the rough sleepers within the Boroughs of South West London to let them know that they will have somewhere warm to sleep that night, a warm meal and emergency shelter.
Being able to accommodate rough sleepers during this time not only means people have a safe and warm place to sleep during severe weather, but also gives SPEAR the opportunity to get to know them and help assess their needs for housing in the longer term.
This winter, in order to help SPEAR prepare for ‘Severe Weather Emergency Protocol’, your donations are gratefully received to meet this human need. To find out more about how you can donate to SPEAR, then please visit our donation page.
Sleeping Rough In The Winter
The reality of sleeping outside night after night is traumatic whenever it occurs, but is especially true during the winter, when extreme temperatures can kill.
The consequence of sleeping out in extreme weather is something SPEAR is particularly aware of as our work began after two men sleeping rough in Richmond during the winter died from exposure to the elements. SPEAR has organised and planned the logistics of SWEP, in order to be ready for a time when the temperatures drop to low levels and so that SWEP can be put into action problem free.
Although accommodation during severe weather is important, SPEAR works all year round helping those threatened with homelessness and also to move people who are sleeping rough off of the streets permanently.
Report a Rough Sleeper
Making us aware of a rough sleeper is simple and can change a life. Please fill in the form at StreetLink:
StreetLink is an organisation who will ensure any referral about a rough sleeper in England and Wales is passed to the correct local team, so please use this wherever you see someone experiencing homelessness.
If possible, we would ask you to use this reporting form. However, if you are having any challenges with this reporting form, or have further questions please contact SPEAR’s Outreach service on 020 8404 1481 (line open 9am – 5pm).