We recognise that people are more likely to accept help during the winter months, but also that deaths on the streets during cold weather are more probable too. During periods of severe cold weather, where temperatures of 0°or lower are predicted to last a minimum of 3 nights, additional fold-out beds are made available in communal areas of Willow House.
The Council, St Mungo’s, The Salvation Army and Launchpad Reading all partner under this Severe Weather Emergency Provision (SWEP) arrangement to ensure that anyone sleeping rough in Reading is offered a bed during freezing temperatures. People do not need to have recourse to public funds to access a severe weather bed. Referrals are made by St Mungo’s and the Council.
Partners and the public are notified of when SWEP is active via the Street Support Reading Information Portal.
A Bed for the Night (B4N) winter shelter is run by a group of local Reading churches; co-ordinated by FAITH Christian Group. It is open every night from the beginning of January until the end of March. They offer 18 bed spaces for those who are sleeping rough, as well as a hot meal and the opportunity for some social time and support.