TWELVE rough sleepers in South Lakeland were given shelter over the Christmas period. The help to create 12 beds for the homeless was a team effort between the district council and a homeless charity. A spokesman for South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) said: “We received government funding just before Christmas for rough sleeping accommodation in the area. “We then got in touch with the social enterprise charity ‘Home Group,’ to utilise their housing stock around our district.” Lisa Russell, from the charity, was glad to get the financial backing in time for the coldest time of the year.

She said: “We’re delighted the funding bid was successful and to be working with South Lakeland District Council on our new service. “I’m still excited to have been able to get this new service up and running over Christmas, to help more people overcome their challenges and tackle homelessness together.”

Cllr Jonathan Brook, SLDC's portfolio holder for housing, recognised the importance of working with the charity.

He said: "We know that homelessness is not an issue that can be tackled alone and we are delighted to be able to work with Home Group on this major project, which will do so much more to help people in need in our communities.” Anyone who is homeless or threatened with homelessness should contact the council's housing options on 0870 428 6905.