Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s has welcomed the activation of extreme weather provision for people experiencing street homelessness in London.
Today (13 July 2022) the Mayor of London Sadiqi Khan has declared that due to the high temperatures, and the extended Level 3 Heath Health warning which is currently in place, the city’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) is active.
This means that outreach shifts will be increase, people who are sleeping rough will be offered water and sun protection as well as being supported to find places where they can shelter from the extreme heat across London.
Reacting to the announcement, St Mungo’s Director of Rough Sleeping, Westminster and Migrants Petra Salva OBE, said: “We are pleased to see the Mayor treating this issue with the seriousness it deserves by activating SWEP.
“The temperatures we have seen this week, and which look set to continue, can kill people who are street homeless and it absolutely right that it is treated as an emergency.
“As ever St Mungo’s teams are prepared to respond to this this critical situation. We will continue to work tirelessly, with the support of local authorities, to ensure people have access to water and sunscreen, and are helped to find places to shelter from the heat – with extra outreach shifts taking place across the city.
“We also urge members of public to be vigilant and to help during this time. Small acts of kindness such as checking how people are, and offering water or sunscreen – really can make a huge difference.
“Anyone concerned about a person who is street homeless can contact Streetlink which will let the local outreach team know so they can link up with that person and offer them support.
“And always, if someone is experiencing a medical emergency, please call 999 straight away.”
SWEP has also been activated by several other local authorities across the areas where St Mungo’s works.
Temperatures are expected to remain high until into next week.
* A map showing the locations of cool spaces and water fountains in London has also been produced.