Here is our latest report from Exeter:
COG sent 20 rucksacks to Exeter, and we were greedy and asked for 6 more as once more we have teamed up with the Exeter Safesleep project where this year 26 beds are being provided.
At our monthly Lunch&Learn in October, as part of the Seminar, we asked everyone who was able to provide something to include in the rucksacks, and all of our friends helped to provide and then pack the rucksacks in November. Individual bags were to be included in each rucksack including toiletries, socks, hats & scarves and also vitamins, moisturiser and lip-balm.
We asked the Safesleep team how the rucksacks had been received and we were given a very positive response, especially to the vitamins & lip-balm. Being able to have a decent bag to hold your possessions rather than several plastic carrier bags makes a real difference. They were amazed at the work of COG nationally in providing 500+ rucksacks around the country this year and impressed with the donations made to make this possible.
We are also providing a hot evening meal for 30 people to the Exeter Safesleep every Sunday from November to March – usually casserole or curry with jacket potatoes or rice, and a pudding with custard - the appreciation from the users of the shelter is humbling.
Julian House have once again been instrumental in setting up Exeter Safesleep this winter. Safesleep is a winter night shelter for people sleeping rough in Exeter. The service aims to prevent loss of life, reduce rough sleeping to as near zero as possible and support people back into settled accommodation, preventing a return to the streets.
The service provides a bed in a safe place, where people sleeping rough can access food, clothing, laundry and wash facilities, together with activities, support and practical assistance from on-site staff to prevent a return to the street and achieve long-term positives outcomes.
Safesleep will run continuously from 1st November 2018 to 31st March 2019.