Annual Rough Sleeping Count12th December 2016 / Posted by CRP Team
On Thursday 24th November, the Rough Sleeping Team at Westminster City Council arranged for volunteers to take part in the Annual Rough Sleeping Count working in conjunction with The Connection (https://www.connection-at-stmartins.org.uk/). CRP Apprentice Branavan tells us more about his experience volunteering.
Initially, a briefing highlighted areas to be covered by teams of volunteers and experienced Outreach workers, trained to deal with a plethora of scenarios. I was assigned to a mapped-out route that covered Leicester Square and Soho, which are usually areas that tend to have more rough sleeping activity. Shadowing two experienced members from The Connection I really saw how challenging it was at times to engage people. In some cases, people didn’t want to be engaged and just wanted to be left alone to sleep, but for others it was a language barrier that provided the obstacle.
The night however did end on a high-note, as we managed to get two people into temporary sleep shelter. When they found out that they would be spending a few nights in the warmth, they couldn’t control their excitement. One of the individuals burst out into song and his happiness was extremely infectious!
This really was an eye-opening experience for me within my Apprenticeship and very enlightening to learn more about the process in place to prevent future rough sleeping scenarios.
If you are concerned about anyone that is rough sleeping, you can contact the National Rough Sleeper Referral Service, more information on the website below: