Warwickshire’s Rough Sleeper Initiative awarded further funds

Following a successful bid by Warwick District Council, further funding has been awarded to support rough sleepers throughout the county until 2021.

The funding will provide an extra twelve months of support for two dedicated physical health nurses to work with homeless people throughout Warwickshire. This is a huge boost to what was initially a three-month long campaign.

South Warwickshire Foundation Trust’s Out of Hospital Team are mobilising the service, with the support of Warwickshire County Council (WCC). Since the initial launch in January, the nurses have already had some successes, supporting people sleeping rough to access primary care services and setting up drop in clinics in local hostels and drop in centres.

Councillor Les Caborn, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health said: “This is fantastic news. The extra funding will mean that we can continue to help people who are homeless or who find themselves sleeping rough in Warwickshire until 2021. Going from the initial 3 months’ worth of funding to a further 12 months illustrates the hard work and commitment of WCC our District and Borough colleagues, South Warwickshire Foundation Trust and wider partners.”

He added: “Physical health remains one of the biggest challenges with those who are homeless due to health inequalities with the average age of death for homeless men in the UK at 44 and 42 for women, compared to 76 and 81 years in the general population. I am hopeful that this funding will enable our team to provide the additional health and well being support those who are homeless desperately need.”

Anne Coyle, Managing Director of the Out of Hospital Collaborative said: “We’re extremely pleased that the funding for this initiative has been extended until 2021 following the successful start to the initial three month campaign.”

“We know that sleeping rough can significantly impact health and wellbeing so having staff who are dedicated to providing support will help to positively change the lives of vulnerable people locally. This shows a commitment to our strategy of collaborating with our partners to keep our communities healthy and out of hospital as much as possible.”

Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing Services, Councillor Jan Matecki commented: “The Housing Needs team at Warwick District Council are delighted to receive confirmation of this funding and are looking forward to continuing to work alongside our County Council colleagues. The dedicated nursing staff are already making a huge difference to people in our community who are sleeping rough. This vital support helps those on the streets or in our hostel to increase their confidence, knowledge and understanding about accessing healthcare, get assessments and treatment for chronic and acute illnesses, advice and support on screening for conditions such as cancer or high blood-pressure, access to dentists and optometrists and appropriate signposting to other support services such as mental health.”

For more information on support available in Warwickshire, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/homelessness