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Cold weather support for those who are sleeping on the streets

Ever wondered what happens to people living on the streets in this cold weather?

When the temperature dips below a certain level Shropshire Council initiates SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol).

This year, 70 Castle Foregate has been throwing open its doors between 10 and 11pm each night for anyone experiencing rough sleeping to stay inside overnight.

Thank you to the Rough Sleeping Team at Shropshire Council for organising this programme so people have an opportunity for a roof over their heads and to be in a safe and warm place in this freezing weather.

We also provide warm food early in the morning at the Ark for those who have been sleeping at 70 Castle Foregate.

This great initiative only happens because Council and Ark staff and volunteers give up their time to work extremely late nights and early mornings.

It might not look like much, but in these freezing temperatures, it really can make the difference between life and death.

Volunteering and Shrewsbury Ark

As a proud recipient of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, volunteers are at the very heart of what we do. We are a charity run by a board of volunteer Trustees, and whose services are provided through the crucial work of a community of dedicated volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, we offer training and have a huge variety of roles helping in the day centre and working with the outreach team; roles may include supporting someone in their home, assisting in our kitchen, lending an ear to clients, coordinating activities such as football, helping clients garden in our allotment or running creative activities. And of course, being a part of the SWEP team.

The Hollywood A-lister Morgan Freeman said: ‘Was I always going to be here? No, I was not. I was going to be homeless at one time, a taxi driver, truck driver, or any kind of job that would get me a crust of bread. You never know what's going to happen.

None of us know what’s going to happen; that’s why we are here to help those whose life has thrown unexpected challenges, and they’ve found themselves in need of help and support.

In some cases, homelessness is preventable but, in every case, it can be ended.

If you would like to volunteer for us at Shrewsbury Ark please get in touch! You can email us at or telephone us via 01743 363305 to register an interest.

You can support us to help people make positive changes in their lives by:

  • Making a donation via our page on the Charities Aid Foundation. Click here to make a regular or one-off donation online now. (Please remember to Gift Aid your donation – This means we will receive tax benefits and help ensure your donation goes further.)

  • Shop online through the Give as you Live shopping website. Through this portal, retailers agree to give a percentage of your purchase to us, at NO cost to you. More information and sign-up details here.

  • Call in at our shop at 14 Castle Street to make a purchase or donate unwanted items.

  • Give us a shout out and follow us on social media: we’re active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

If you’re concerned about someone sleeping rough, let us know about rough sleepers in your area via Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 or online at

We will action your report, locating the person of concern, to help them to get off the streets as soon as possible.

Our outreach team will continue to support them, helping them develop life skills so they stay in their own home.


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