MORE than 400 rough sleepers have been helped into emergency accommodation across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole during the pandemic.

A total of 418 have isolated safely with 118 of them moving into longer-term housing.

Now BCP Council, working alongside Faithworks Wessex and volunteers, has pledged to help more people get off the streets for good.

The Homelessness Partnership has also sourced, packed and delivered more than 2,000 food parcels and 260 toiletry packs to people in emergency accommodation in the last year.

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And many of the hotels and B&Bs providing accommodation has also provided food.

Alistair Doxat-Purser, Chief Executive of Faithworks Wessex said: "This immense effort has helped many people to keep safe during lockdowns and importantly enabled them to eat well.

"We are very grateful to churches, community groups, and indeed everyone in the wider community who has donated food or volunteered to get food-packs ready to keep vulnerable people fed at this difficult time."

Lorraine Mealings, Director of Housing at BCP Council added: "We are so pleased this project has been possible, thanks to the generosity of donators and the commitment of the partnership and volunteers.

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"We continue to focus on how we can best support and enable them to move into more permanent arrangements."

As lockdown comes to an end, the focus will be on creative ways that the team can work with vulnerable people receiving emergency support in order to help them move into more permanent accommodation arrangements and build the skills, confidence and resilience they need for their new lives.

The Homelessness Partnership will continue to work with the Access to Food Partnership (BCP) to support those in emergency housing. They have also produced a community food map to show people what support is available across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Anybody requiring food support through any transitions to new accommodation or other arrangements will continue to receive the help they need.