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Severe Weather Emergency Protocol

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol

SWEP

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol: Provides shelter Provides shelter
Severe Weather Emergency Protocol: Provides guidance Provides guidance
Severe Weather Emergency Protocol: Doesn't provide new skill learning Doesn't provide new skill learning
Severe Weather Emergency Protocol: Doesn't accept time Doesn't accept time
Severe Weather Emergency Protocol: Doesn't accept things Doesn't accept things
Severe Weather Emergency Protocol: Doesn't accept money Doesn't accept money

Contact Details

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol Address: Various locations across the county -
Various locations across the county

Service Type

Emergency accommodation

Operating Hours

Any night that the temperature falls to zero degrees Celsius or below (Met Office)

Eligibility & Referral

Referral made via OxSPOT

Service Description

The first port of call should be one of the the outreach teams:

OxSPOT in Oxford 

Connection Support outside the city

If you’re sleeping rough, OxSPOT or Connection  Support will assess you and help you find the accommodation and support you need. 

During severe weather or every time the temperature falls to zero degrees Celsius or below (Met Office forecast) Oxford City Council activates a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) in order to provide emergency shelter overnight. The council will also use its discretion to activate SWEP during other severe weather, such as snow on the ground, sub-zero 'feels like' temperatures, or a warmer night during a prolonged freezing spell.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils also activate SWEP on every freezing night.

Cherwell District Council will activate SWEP on the first night of a forecast that the temperature will fall to zero or below on three or more consecutive nights. Cherwell will also consider other severe weather conditions if required.

West Oxfordshire District Council will activate SWEP:

  • on the first night of a forecast that the temperature will fall to zero or below on three or more consecutive nights

  • using its discretion if the temperature improves for a night then dips again

  • if the forecast is -3 or below for one night

  • if there are yellow weather warnings, except for fog

Due to coronavirus, the provision of SWEP this year will be different. To avoid the risk of transmission Oxford will provide an alternative to the normal provision of communal sleeping spaces.

KEY INFORMATION about SWEP in Oxford

  • SWEP will be activated by the city council when the temperature is forecast to fall to zero degrees Celsius, or below
  • The council will also use its discretion to activate SWEP during other severe weather, such as snow on the ground, sub-zero 'feels like' temperatures, or a warmer night during a prolonged freezing spell
  • Accommodation will be provided in the form of individual rooms across three sites
  • 22 rooms have been identified for SWEP
  • If demand exceeds capacity, hotel rooms will be booked to cover the additional demand
  • People who need access to SWEP who are not identified during the day will be able to present at O’Hanlon House between 11pm and midnight in order to be allocated a room
  • A local connection to Oxford is NOT required to access SWEP, and nor are other eligibility requirements associated with accessing other housing services
  • Accommodation will be managed by St Mungo’s and Aspire, supported by volunteers
  • St Mungo’s will co-ordinate access to SWEP allocating individuals to accommodation during the day
  • Individuals accessing SWEP will be made aware of their responsibilities for minimising transmission of coronavirus
  • St Mungo’s will ensure that all clients who access SWEP (if not already known) are offered a full assessment of their needs and support in order to be offered longer term solutions to their homelessness

There is more information about SWEP in Oxford on the council website.

People outside Oxford who want a SWEP bed during freezing winter weather should contact Connection Support or their own council in the first instance:

Cherwell District Council - 01295 753 751 or 01295 221 531 out of hours

South Oxfordshire District Council - 01235 422 452 or 01235 422 410 out of hours

Vale of White Horse District Council - 01235 422 452 or 01235 422 420 out of hours

West Oxfordshire District Council - 01993 861 000 or 0151 343 2945 out of hours

SWEP is now CLOSED