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Homeless in danger across Gravesend and Dartford due to extreme weather conditions

Extreme weather conditions are putting homeless people at serious risk.

As the Beast from the East strikes Kent, low temperatures, heavy snow and cold winds are making life on the streets potentially fatal.

Charities are attempting to meet increasing demand, and Gravesham Borough Council has put severe weather emergency protocol in place.

Extreme weather conditions are putting homeless people at serious risk.
Extreme weather conditions are putting homeless people at serious risk.

Gravesham Sanctuary offer food and support throughout the year, along with a winter shelter in the coldest months.

Team leader Lorna Nolan has advised people to donate four seasons sleeping bags, not thin summer ones, as these provide a higher level of warmth.

Despite being thicker and more expensive, they are ideal as they can still be packed up and carried by homeless people while travelling.

Lorna has also recommended that those wishing to donate purchase thick, thermal-lined gloves, which can be bought cheaply at high street stores.

Alongside this, thermal underwear, jeans in small sizes, and any other clothing will help staff provide visitors with essential protection from the cold.

Lorna said: "We layer people up so that the wind doesn't go through their clothing.

"When you are cold, you will wear anything, it doesn't matter about fashion."

The centre is based in Gravesend Methodist Church Community Centre, and for more information visit www.graveshamsanctuary.uk or call 07496 832 228.

It works closely with Gravesham Council, who are currently offering temporary accommodation to those without a home.

If you see someone sleeping rough over the next few nights, report it at www.streetlink.org.uk.

Other centres include Dartford Churches Winter Shelter, which operates between seven different churches in the town, and the House of Mercy Day Centre in Edwin Street, Gravesend.

For more information about the Dartford project, visit http://bit.ly/2ovEQg7 or contact House of Mercy on 01474 329514.

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