Emotional video shows reality rough sleepers face in Peterborough

The video produced by Peterborough City Council shows the reality rough sleepers face everyday.

The video produced by Peterborough City Council shows the reality rough sleepers face everyday. - Credit: Peterborough City Council

Rough sleepers in Peterborough have shared their day to day lives with Peterborough City Council in a video of what they go through each night.  

Outreach officer Matt Walker and wellbeing officer Lorna Thorley were out in Peterborough city centre at 5am in the chilling darkness with temperatures at –1C.

Their task was to search the city and seek out vulnerable individuals in need of support and they filmed the reality of the situation.  

In just a few hours the pair searched 14 locations and found seven people sleeping rough.  

People were found sleeping in parks, on benches at the train station and in the city centre. With some not willing to engage with officers, others were ‘grateful’ for the support.  

Interviewed in the video is Darren, a man who turned to drugs after the death of his mum.

His life quickly spiralled downhill, leading him to fail a drugs test at work and lose his job. Having already lost his flat, contact with his family ended and he soon found himself in a tent in Woodston.

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Now in a two year tenancy, Darren is on the housing register and bidding for properties.   

Outreach officer Matt said: “Often it is bitterly cold when we are out, especially in the winter months, but it’s nothing compared to what these people are going through every day.

"It’s always satisfying to know you’re helping someone turn their life around and seeing the joy on their face when they are found somewhere warm to stay.”  

The Light House Project which works with PCC to help give those homeless a starting chance. 

The charity’s CEO, Steven Pettican said: “In December, we helped 41 people move from the streets into accommodation which is a collaborative approach with our partners in the city. That’s 41 lives that have been changed.” 

Sean Evans, head of housing needs at Peterborough City Council, said: “Our outreach officers do incredible work which is normally unseen by the public.

"No matter the weather, they will be out there visiting places where we have had reports of rough sleepers to try and find them and offer them support. 

“I hope this video gives the public an insight into the work we do to help those who are most vulnerable. It literally is a 24/7 operation.” 

Donations to Safer off the Streets can be made by visiting: https://www.saferoffthestreets.co.uk/

Contactless donations can also been be made outside the Town Hall in Bridge Street.