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14th December 2022

Winter Support for those Rough Sleeping

The perils of sleeping rough are very real all year round. But at this time of year with sub-zero temperatures, wind and rain, the work of the local Homelessness Partnership BCP comes into full focus. Faithworks is a founder member of this Partnership and Alistair, their CEO, chairs the Partnership forum.

As Christmas approaches people often enquire about what they can do to help those facing cold nights on the streets.

Alistair explains: “Traditionally, during the countdown to Christmas, the nation’s thoughts turn to helping those who face a bleak midwinter without a safe place to call home.

The Homelessness Partnership wants to equip everyone with some simple steps that we can all take, to give a hand up to those experiencing homelessness – here are 4 simple and practical actions that can help some of the most vulnerable in our society”

1. If you are worried about someone you have seen sleeping rough in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, you can alert BCP Street Outreach Service by emailing b& by calling 01202 315962 or through the Streetlink App below.


2. The BCP Access to Food map – every day across the conurbation there is at least one “food-run” or community meal hosted by churches or local agencies. Details of these meals plus information on Food Banks, Pantries and Community Fridges can be found on the BCP Access to Food map.

There is also additional information on specialist food provision over the Christmas period. Loading it up to a smartphone means you can potentially help signpost someone to hot food while out and about in town – access the food map below.

BCP Access to Food map

3. The Homelessness Partnership BCP portal below is the source of all the contacts that not only help someone on the street, but also those who are sofa-surfing or precariously housed. It includes contact details for the BCP Council “Early Help” team, St Mungo’s Street Outreach Team, the Access to Food map, and links to help with finances or clothing.

The portal also lists practical ways to help those facing homelessness; for example, donating toiletries to our Half-time venue in Bournemouth (or Routes to Roots in Poole) and good quality furniture to the Faithworks Storehouse project or Christchurch Furniture Bank to support those as they move on from homelessness.

Homelessness Partnership BCP portal

4. Change for Good BCP – this crowdfunding initiative provides an alternative to giving cash to someone who is begging. The fund is managed securely via Dorset Community Foundation and 100% of donations go to support those moving on from homelessness.

More than £8,000 was given out to local charities from the Change for Good fund between April and September 2022. Donations have funded practical things like replacement identification, phone charging power banks as well as one to one trauma support.

You can either donate below or while you are out and about at one of the contactless giving points across BCP including at Faithworks Half-time venue in the centre of Bournemouth (see the list full list below).

Simply tap your card on one of the contactless points to donate £3 to the Change for Good funding pot.

Change for Good
Change for Good Giving Points

The Faithworks Christmas campaign talks about being grateful even in hard times; as Alistair says: “Life may be really challenging right now, especially for those experiencing homelessness, but I’m so grateful for those who go the extra mile to help in these simple ways.”

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