City council leaders are advising people how they can help rough sleepers in Oxford during the heatwave.

With temperature in the city peaking at a sweltering 32 degrees C today rough sleepers are struggling to cope like everyone else.

But with their limited resources they are find it more difficult to stay hydrated.

Council managers say rough sleepers are at particular risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and sunburn.

And while council staff seem to stop short of actually suggesting you hand rough sleepers bottles of water, they do list many different ways in which you can get help.

Oxford Mail:

Linda Smith, deputy leader and cabinet member for leisure and housing, said: “While many of us welcome the fact that the sun is finally out, people sleeping rough are especially vulnerable to hot weather.

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"The best way to help people experiencing homelessness is to get them to come inside where support services can engage with them to help them off the streets.

“If you are concerned about someone on the streets during the summer months, please report them to OxSPOT or StreetLink. You can also help by giving your time, money or help in kind to the day services that provide water, food, showers and shade to people sleeping rough.”  

Oxford Mail:

If you are concerned about a rough sleeper suffering from the heat you can contact staff at Oxford Street Population Outreach Team (OxSPOT).

OxSPOT, run by St Mungo's helps people experiencing homelessness to access accommodation and the support they need to rebuild their lives.

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To give details about a rough sleeper, including their location, people can call OxSPOT during office hours on 01865 243229 or email

Oxford Mail:

OxSPOT is not an emergency service but it will follow up all calls and emails as soon as possible and its staff are providing water and cups to people on the streets during its daily rounds, and water is also available to rough sleepers at day services.

You can also report someone sleeping rough through or call StreetLink on 0300 500 0914.

If you believe a rough sleeper’s health is in immediate danger, please call 999.

People experiencing homelessness can avoid the sun and get food, showers and shade at day services at Homeless Oxfordshire, The Porch Day Centre and The Gatehouse.

Oxford Mail:

Homeless Oxfordshire provides day services from its O’Hanlon House hostel in Luther Street from 10am to 3pm on weekdays and 10am to 2pm on weekends.

O’Hanlon House provides shower and laundry facilities, and two meals a day.

These are available to anyone sleeping rough who has been verified by OxSPOT.

Users of day services can also access services provided to hostel residents, including training, education and activities.

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The Porch Day Centre in Magdalen Road provides day-long support for homeless and vulnerably housed people six days a week.

Oxford Mail:

Its services include two cheap hot meals a day, shower and laundry facilities, clothing, and a range of activities including ICT training and allotment work.

The Gatehouse is at 10 Woodstock Road, and provides a drop-in café for homeless and vulnerably housed people six days a week. It also offers free internet access, a clothes store and art, literacy and computer activities groups.

If you would like to give items like water, sunscreen, sunglasses or hats to people sleeping rough during hot weather, you can also donate these to Homeless Oxfordshire, The Porch Day Centre and The Gatehouse.

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As part of its campaign to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles, Refill Oxford has set up a network of refill stations throughout the city – where people can refill water bottles for free rather than buying a new one.

More than 170 businesses and organisations have signed up to the Refill scheme in Oxford. These include the Town Hall Café and our leisure facilities.

Participating organisations and businesses display a Refill sticker in their windows.

The council is transforming the former JobCentre in Floyds Row in St Aldate's into a new hub for rough sleepers.

The centre is being revamped in a £1m scheme and is expected to open later this year.