Enhanced cold weather support for vulnerable residents announced


An enhanced and comprehensive support system for vulnerable residents in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead has been announced to ensure these residents can access the services they need.

Throughout the winter period we will be putting in place a new, comprehensive Cold Weather Provision to provide a clear pathway from sleeping rough, to a shelter, to the council’s support services and into longer-term accommodation. 

The Cold Weather Provision is a coordinated, joined-up approach to ensure the Royal Borough, charity organisations and others are working together with the clear purpose of supporting vulnerable people sleeping rough into longer term solutions. 

Anyone sleeping rough in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead can benefit from the support being delivered through Cold Weather Provision. The provision in place exceeds the council’s statutory Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) duties and will include a commitment to ensure all rough sleepers are assessed by our experienced outreach team, within the initial 10 days of support being offered by any agency. SWEP is activated when temperature fall below zero for consecutive days. 

SWEP arrangements will be provided in the Royal Borough and we will be working with homeless charities and other partner organisations to make sure that all rough sleepers know about the provision and are aware of how to access it.

Cllr Ross McWilliams, lead member for housing, said: “With the cold weather drawing in, I know many of you worry about the safety and support of vulnerable people, particularly those sleeping rough. As the newly appointment lead member for housing, I am determined to ensure that we deliver a comprehensive package of cold weather support based on the core principles of compassion, thoroughness and cooperation, including a focus on delivering long term outcomes and actually helping people off the streets.

“Our new approach will provide bespoke packages of support to individuals sleeping rough. We hope people will fully engage with this big offer of help. The approach and the assessment will ensure the offer is appropriate to the individual rough sleeper. The first 10 days working with the rough sleeper are crucial to ensure the roles of each agency are clearly defined and the expectations are managed.

“We recognise the good work being carried out by our voluntary sector and faith groups, including the community volunteering approach to supporting rough sleepers off the streets, and the Royal Borough’s Cold Weather Provision will ensure we are all working together for the best possible outcomes.

 “I am really looking forward to working with officers and partners alike on this important and life changing project.”

Anyone at risk of sleeping rough on the streets should go to the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead offices in the Town Hall in Maidenhead or York House in Windsor for advice and support or call the housing duty team on 01628 68 380. Anyone who becomes homeless when the offices are closed should contact the council's Emergency Duty Team on 01344 786543.

If you see a rough sleeper you can also call 0300 500 0914 or visit Streetlink giving the details of the rough sleeper and they will notify the relevant local authority.