Here is how you can help rough sleepers find shelter in Redbridge as temperatures soar
PUBLISHED: 17:26 24 July 2019 | UPDATED: 07:34 25 July 2019
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Redbridge Council has activated its severe weather emergency protocol to make sure rough sleepers are safe and indoors during this week’s heatwave.
The protocol is activated during extreme weather conditions and it means anyone sleeping rough can access emergency accommodation.
Accommodation is accessible to people who would otherwise be excluded from services.
The Welcome Centre in St Mary's Road, Ilford, has extended its opening time to late afternoon to allow rough sleepers to find some shelter.
Director Phil Herbert said: "As part of the severe weather emergency protocol, the Welcome Centre has extended it's opening time to late afternoon to allow homeless people to use the centre to find some shade, some cool refreshment and a cold shower if needed.
"We understand that the council are giving out free water to homeless people from Lynton House.
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"We know that dehydration is a very real threat to life, so encouraging all vulnerable people to drink plenty of water, squash and juices is important at this time.
"Drinking too much alcohol in this heat isn't helpful at all and can cause dehydration.
"A bottle of water given to someone sleeping rough could be a life saver."
The advice from Captain John Clifton at Ilford Salvation Army is: "Be kind, have a conversation, offer water or refreshments."
Redbridge Council's housing cabinet member Farah Hussain added on Twitter: "No one should be outside in the extreme heat. Let @Tell_StreetLink know if you spot anyone so we can get them indoors and safe."
Members of the public can help by contacting @Tell_Streetlink on Twitter or by calling 020 8708 4007 (020 8554 5000 out of hours) if you see or know a rough sleeper who is outside during the extreme weather.
You can also visit www.streetlink.org.uk.