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Last updated: 07 December 2023

Who are these documents for?

  • Local authorities
  • Frontline homelessness services
  • Faith and community groups

Why are they relevant?

  • The SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) and winter provision toolkit is designed to support Local Authorities to provide SWEP responses in order to prevent deaths of people sleeping rough during the winter. It also contains guidance for organisations who are setting up winter provision, including suggested accommodation models.
  • The toolkit has been updated to take into account new UKHSA guidance surrounding Covid-19, as well as operating principles for night shelters published by the Government.
  • The Government has also published a ‘Cold Health Alert’ (CHA) action card to support services to prepare for and respond effectively to cold weather, along with the UKHSA’s recently published toolkit to help local organisation plan and deliver warm spaces.

What are the key takeaways?

  • Multi-agency meetings and forums should be used to plan SWEP and winter provision early.
  • Where possible, offer single occupancy rooms instead of shared sleeping spaces to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
  • Designate a SWEP/winter provision coordinator to act as a single point of contact over the winter period.
  • Work with partner agencies to discuss and agree potential move-on options in advance of severe weather.

Alongside this toolkit are some SWEP Frequently Asked Questions, a monitoring tool for cold weather provision, and a series of good practice case studies.