Newham rough sleepers offered respite during heatwave

Tower Hamlets says it will share details if a homeless person is considered dangerous or is wanted f

Tower Hamlets says it will share details if a homeless person is considered dangerous or is wanted for a serious crime abroad. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Rough sleepers in the borough are being offered support to help cope with this week’s heatwave.

Outreach workers are visiting rough sleeping hotspots to offer water, sun cream and advice, while a day centre in East Ham will provide some respite from the heat over the next two days.

The Greater London Authority has triggered its severe weather emergency protocol (Swep) to support the homeless and rough sleeping community, after the Met Office forecasted temperatures would exceed 30C for the first four days of this week.

Swep - designed to target the most vulnerable rough sleepers and is accessible to people who would otherwise be excluded from services - will remain in place until Thursday, subject to the weather forecast.

Rough sleepers are able to use a day centre at Bonny Downs Church in Darwell Close, East Ham for food, shower, advocacy and place to rest, from 9am to 2.30pm tomorrow (Wednesday, July 24) and Thursday.

A day centre was also open at the Salvation Army in Paul Street, Stratford for today only.

A council spokesman said: "As is normal practice the outreach team will continue to work with the rough sleepers who refused accommodation.

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"Those that refuse help are being given advice by outreach staff and their details, including age, name, any complex needs are recorded, alongside their location with a view to re-engage.

"We can also offer emergency accommodation if required."

Anyone who is concerned about a rough sleeper should call Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 or visit and give as much information as possible about the location of the person, a description of them and what time you saw them.

If you have serious concerns about a person's health, call 999.