With news that a heatwave is due to hit parts of the UK and the weather forecast showing sun and high temperatures are on the way in Cornwall, we are thinking about how best to keep those experiencing homelessness safe and well in the hot weather.
During heatwaves people sleeping rough are at further risk of sunstroke, dehydration, and heat exhaustion. Homelessness, particularly rough sleeping, is dangerous all year round but in extreme hot weather and high temperatures, it can be life threatening. Deaths that can occur may be from underlying illnesses made worse by heat – primarily lung and heart diseases – or from heat specific conditions, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Mental ill health may also worsen during hot weather.
Here’s a few things to remember, and what can be done to help;
Hydration as we all know is important, handing out small bottles of frozen water can be one idea to help cool people down initially, and then to drink.
Sun cream / Sunhats
SPF especially can be expensive, but if you are able to purchase an extra bottle to give out this can be very beneficial. We have listed some sun cream and sunhats on our Amazon Wishlist that can be donated via purchase and will be delivered direct to our resource centres where we can distribute to those who need it.
Refer them to Streetlink
Street Link enables members of the public to connect people sleeping rough with the local services that can support them. It can enable services to reach rough sleepers more quickly; this has positive impacts on their safety and wellbeing. Call Streetlink or visit their website, 0300 500 0914 streetlink.org.uk
If you think the person you are concerned about is in immediate danger, seriously unwell and needs urgent medical assistance, contact emergency services on 999 straight away.