HELP is available for people who are sleeping rough this winter and extra help is planned for severe weather. 

Single people and childless couples who are sleeping rough, or at risk of sleeping rough, can get a warm place to stay — thanks to West Berkshire Council’s winter plan. 

The plan aims to help the most vulnerable people who have a local connection to the district, with warm and safe accommodation, and wider support and advice. 

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When temperatures are forecast to be below freezing for three consecutive days, this will trigger the council’s severe weather emergency protocol. This means ‘non-residents’ at risk of sleeping rough will also receive support. 

The plan will accommodate people at Two Saints, a hostel in Newbury. 

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Voluntary groups and charities including West Berkshire Homeless, Loose Ends, Eight Bells and the Newbury Soup Kitchen will support Two Saints in helping rough sleepers back to independence and a home. 

Councillor Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley & Cold Ash), the lead member for housing and homelessness, said: “We can all do something to help tackle local issues around rough sleeping and homelessness. 

“To be effective, we must all be a part of the solution and the ongoing collaborative approach taken by our partners makes us more able to help more people.

“The council works all year round to reduce homelessness and support people who sleep rough. We’re absolutely committed to ensuring that no one has to sleep outside; it is one of our priorities.

“This becomes even more important when it is extremely cold. People become homeless for many reasons, but when they do it’s important they know that help is available to get them back on their feet. 

“When the severe weather emergency protocol is activated, it will remain active for as long as necessary to make sure that all rough sleepers who need a warm, safe place are found somewhere to stay.” 

Those at risk of sleeping rough should go to the council’s offices on Market Street, Newbury, for support. When the offices are closed, the emergency duty team can be contacted on 01344 786 543.