The Salvation Army is always looking for new and innovative ideas to improve the services that we provide for people, especially for vulnerable rough sleepers. 

Nap pads pilot in York

We have partnered with a specialist Lancashire based company ‘Protectal’ to develop a new sort of emergency accommodation to prevent people from having to sleep on the streets. 

The ‘NAPpad 20’ (Night-time Accommodation Project) is a moveable structure - approximately the same size as a shipping container - and comprises of 4 Covid- secure ‘microflats’ or ‘Pads’ which offer dignity, privacy and safety to people who might otherwise be sleeping rough. 

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Each ‘Pad’ is self-contained and built to a high specification.  With intrinsic safety features they are built to Building Control standards. 

The NAPpads are light, bright and airy; with a window; a secure front door; a bed; toilet, handbasin and storage area.  Connected either to mains services, or ‘standalone’ and run off a generator, the NAPpad is heated (with individual temperature controls); has electricity (including a phone charging point) and has running water.   

Because the heating and water system is so efficient, once up and running, the NAPpad can keep someone safe using the same amount of energy per night as a domestic light bulb.

People who have been sleeping rough for a long time often have complex health issues.  To keep them as safe as possible, the NAPpads are fitted with non-invasive ‘vital life signs’ sensors. 

These are sensitive enough to detect whether someone has stopped breathing so emergency services can be alerted, giving responders vital minutes to save a life. The sensors are based on technology used to combat sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).  The NAPpads are managed on a day to day basis by specialist outreach workers. They work with people who are using the NAPpad to refer them to other services and to help them to access more permanent accommodation. 

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The Salvation Army and Protectal Ltd are currently piloting the scheme in York, in partnership with the City Council but are looking to roll NAPpads out more widely.

Download the NAPPad Pilot Evaluation Report by The Salvation Army and York Council.


Find out more about what we do, and how you can help us break the cycle of homelessness.


Accommodation that provides more than a roof.

Rough sleeping

The most visible, extreme and damaging form of homelessness.

‘NAPpads’ track rough sleepers’ breathing keeping them safe and off streets

Innovative pop up accommodation for rough sleepers is being piloted in York.