‘Survival bags’ help Bradford rough sleepers stay warm
published on 5 Dec 2023
Waterproof ‘survival bags’ which help rough sleepers stay warm and dry on the streets have been distributed by The Salvation Army in Bradford in preparation for the cold winter months as more people struggle to find somewhere to sleep at night.
The Shelterbag is a high-performance waterproof and insulated bag with a large tented hood and built-in mattress, which allows people to keep warm and dry virtually anywhere - and in bad weather could even save lives.
The Orchard Lifehouse and Day Shelter, which is run by The Salvation Army in Bradford, teamed up with the non-profit Sheltersuit UK, to give out 15 Shelterbags to rough sleepers.
The Orchard Day Shelter provides practical support to rough sleepers including a warm place for them to be during the day, hot food, drinks, access to computers, games and help accessing medical support, housing, mental health appointments and much more.
Oli Burbage-Hall, Programme Manager at The Orchard, said: “In Bradford, we are seeing more people coming to our day centre who are forced to sleep on the streets which is a worry especially as we go into winter with the nights getting colder.
“Sheltersuit UK dropped off 15 bags for us to distribute to rough sleepers. The Shelterbags themselves are fantastic, they are practical and can roll nicely into a backpack for people who are having to move around, are weatherproof and insulated and offer good protection against the weather.
“We know that people who are sleeping on the streets are more likely to suffer from poor physical health due to exposure to the elements and from sleeping on wet hard surfaces, so these Shelterbags will provide some comfort to those that are not able to find a bed for the night.”
Ian Sutherland McCook, Managing Director of Sheltersuit UK, said: “We are pleased to be working with The Orchard to distribute the Shelterbag which we know makes a real difference to people who are homeless. Crucially the Shelterbag is robust and warm enough for the weather in the UK, but is also light to carry which helps people who may be struggling physically due to the impact of sleeping on the street. In bad weather these will save lives, but at all times they allow the user to sleep warm and dry virtually anywhere.”
Sheltersuit UK is a non-profit organization which produces warm and weatherproof protective garments for people sleeping rough. Shelterbags cost £75 to produce and deliver. They are reliant on donations to keep making these.
The Salvation Army’s Day Shelter is open from Monday to Friday between 8.45am and 3pm for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.