Berkshire

Extra homeless beds in Reading during cold snap

Extra beds are being made available for homeless people in Reading during the freezing weather.

Street outreach team St Mungo's and Reading Borough Council have set up the free accommodation in the communal areas of the town's homeless hostels.

Homelessness charity Launchpad Reading is providing camp beds, duvets, food packages, toiletries and warm clothes.

It is hoped the scheme will also encourage people to seek help in finding more permanent accommodation.

The extra beds are provided as part of the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) which comes into force when the Met Office forecasts three nights of freezing temperatures.

Reading's housing and neighbourhoods councillor, Rachel Eden, said: "It's essential when the weather turns bitter to ensure everyone finds somewhere safe and warm to sleep.

"For anyone in Reading who find themselves homeless the council's partnership with the voluntary sector can be a lifeline at this time, but can also be a step towards more permanent accommodation."

In November, the borough council announced plans to increase the number of beds available to homeless people by 24 to 224.

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