MORE volunteers are needed to help rough sleepers in Oxford this winter.

Partners in Oxford Homeless Movement are working together to provide accommodation and services for people experiencing rough sleeping in Oxford this winter.

Once again, Oxford City Council is teaming up with Aspire, Homeless Oxfordshire and St Mungo’s to provide emergency beds for anyone who wants to come inside during freezing winter weather.

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Extra people are now needed to help Oxford Winter Night Shelter, run by churches in the city from January to March.

Oxford Mail:

Last month Oxford Homeless Movement, supported by Oxfordshire Community Foundation, announced a £150,000 fundraising drive to support charities helping rough sleepers.

Jane Cranston, chairwoman of Oxford Homeless Movement, said: “Oxford comes together to help people experiencing rough sleeping as the winter hits.

"From the students helping people access emergency beds in freezing weather to the volunteers in the churches’ winter shelter, people care and want to help. And you can help too.

“The city council works with Oxford’s dedicated homeless charities to provide extra winter services and has been successful in winning extra money from the government. More is needed.

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"On #GivingTuesday, you can help meet the needs of people on the streets now and to support new services in future.

"Donate to Oxford Homeless Movement during the festive season and make double the difference with the Christmas Match Fund.”

Oxford Mail:

Under the severe weather emergency protocol (SWEP), the council consults with partners to activate emergency beds whenever the Met Office forecasts freezing overnight temperatures and during other severe winter weather.

St Mungo’s – which runs the assessment and outreach service OxSPOT – then tells people who are sleeping rough that SWEP is open and allocates them a space in one of three venues if they want a bed for the night.

Between December 1 and January 6 the foundation is pledging to match any donation to Oxford Homeless Movement for this year’s Christmas Match Fund, which is being backed by the Oxford Mail.

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When venues open in the evening, outreach becomes a provider as St Mungo’s runs SWEP at Simon House.

Homeless Oxfordshire and Aspire provide emergency beds at O’Hanlon House and in East Oxford respectively.

Staff from all three organisations perform extra shifts on top of their day jobs to provide emergency beds and keep SWEP running as smoothly as possible.

The first activation of SWEP on November 18 is 11 days earlier than the only other time beds have opened in November.

This happened in 2016 when SWEP was activated on a forecast of three freezing nights rather than a single night.

Oxford Mail:

Up to 13 beds are also now available in a winter-long shelter in Simon House.

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These are open to anybody experiencing rough sleeping - regardless of their connection to Oxford and whether or not they can claim benefits or housing.

Referrals to the winter shelter must be made through OxSPOT.

You can donate online at or by sending a cheque to Oxford Homeless Movement, PO Box 941, Oxford OX1 9TQ.