Catching Lives is appealing for support as the first Heat Health Alert of 2023 has been issued by the UK Health Security Agency.
People experiencing homelessness, especially rough sleepers, are among those most vulnerable to the adverse effects of hot weather and are at higher risk of developing heat-related illnesses including sunstroke.
Tasmin Maitland, Chief Executive of Catching Lives, said: “This is due to be the first sustained period of hot weather in 2023 so we would really urge people to remember and look out for people experiencing homelessness during this time.
“Rough sleepers are among those most at risk of dehydration, sunburn or heat-related illnesses, but with some support this can be easily prevented.
“We are accepting donations in kind of small bottles of water, sun cream and sun hats at our day centre in Station Road East, which we can hand out to our clients as we are open seven days a week.
“We are so grateful to the community for its continued support.”
How to help people sleeping rough in hot weather
Follow guidance from Homeless Link for members of the public who want to help someone on the street:
Check if they are happy to accept items such as water, sunscreen, food etc – there may be a risk of coronavirus transmission from direct giving.
Ask a nearby café if they will let you ‘pay it forward’, purchasing items for the person to collect.
Help the person to send a StreetLink alert or find a local support service, such as Catching Lives or Porchlight.
The NHS advises four things that you can do to cool someone down:
1. Move them to a cool place.
2. Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.
3. Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are OK.
4. Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good too.
If you want to donate sun cream, sun hats or small bottles of water to Catching Lives, please bring them to our day centre in Station Road East between 9am and 4pm any day of the week. You can also donate financially here.