Wes accompanied Cllr Jas Athwal on a visit to Redbridge Cold Weather Shelter, run by the Salvation Army to keep people alive during the cold winter months.
Based on Clements Road in Ilford town centre, the Redbridge Cold Weather Centre provides an essential source of support to rough sleepers and homeless people, giving them a hot meal, good company and a bed for the night. The shelter can currently host up to 28 people per night.
Homelessness has been a growing problem in Redbridge, with increasing numbers of rough sleepers. Wes and Jas met with John and Naomi Clifton from the Salvation Army, shelter volunteers and those who rely on the centre during the current bout of cold weather.
Wes says: "It is bitterly cold at the moment and Redbridge Cold Weather Shelter is literally providing a lifeline for people who need a safe place to stay for the night. One of the most important things the shelter provides is a place where people can be recognised as part of a community. It was moving to hear stories of those who don't feel like they have a voice or a stake in the community and heartening to hear about the shelter has been supporting people to get them on the right track, make them aware of support available and make sure they can get their voice heard - including by our own Council."