Sleeping rough in winter

We operate an emergency protocol for rough sleepers during periods of extreme cold weather

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP)

During periods of extreme cold weather, we operate a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).

This is triggered when the night time temperature is predicted to be zero degrees celsius or below.

When the SWEP is triggered, we will provide emergency accommodation for any person sleeping rough in the district.

The protocol aims to minimise risks to these individuals during periods of severe weather and provides an opportunity to engage with hard-to-reach groups and signpost them to appropriate support services.

If you need emergency accommodation under SWEP, you are encouraged to come to the Civic Centre as soon as possible.

Kennelling when the SWEP is active

We arrange free of charge kennelling for the dogs of individuals that need emergency accommodation due to SWEP.

  • if the individual contacts us us between 8.30am and 5pm they can come to the Civic Centre and their dog can be placed in our holding kennel until it can be transferred to the main kennels
  • if the individual approaches between 5pm and midnight the out-of-hours emergency kennelling procedures will be implemented, where the individual will be met so their dog can be collected and transferred to the kennels and the individual can go to the B&B booked for them
  • if an individual approaches with a dog after midnight they will have to wait until the morning for kennelling to be arranged

The individual will not be able to visit their dog during the time it is in the kennels and their dog will be returned to them when SWEP is ended.

Folkestone Churches Winter Shelter

The Folkestone Churches Winter Shelter will open on Monday 3 December 2018 and will run until Sunday 24 February 2019.

This year's venues are as follows
MondayFolkestone Methodist Church, Sandgate Road, CT20 2BL
TuesdaySKCC, Cornerstone Centre, Castle Hill Avenue, CT20 2QR 
WednesdayOur Lady Help Of Christians, Guildhall Street, CT20 1EF
ThursdaySt Paul's Church, Sandgate Hill, CT20 3AU
FridaySt John's Church, St John's Church Road, CT19 5BQ
SaturdayFolkestone Baptist Church, Hill Road, CT19 6LY 
SundayHoly Trinity Church, Sandgate Road, CT20 2HQ


You need to be registered and have a bed space confirmed by the winter shelter staff in order to stay the night.

You can self-refer directly to the shelter. In order to stay you will need to complete a referral form and agree to a plan of support.

You will need to go to the Folkestone Rainbow Centre in person between 10am-1pm Monday to Friday from 26 November. Staff will not be in the centre at the weekend but you can call the shelter phone line on 01303 210199 to leave a message. Please leave your name and a contact telephone number.

Number of available beds

There are a maximum of 13 beds at each venue. You will need to demonstrate a local connection to the Folkestone area, although the Project Manager has the discretion to override this where deemed necessary. 

Opening times

Once you have registered and been given a bed space, you need to attend the shelter venue for that night between 7.30pm-8pm.

You need to leave by 8am the following morning.

Key Contacts

Winter Shelter Office,  Rainbow Centre
Sarah Elliot Administrator wsadmin@rainbow-centre.org01303 210199
Jana Ernest Project Managerwsmanager@rainboew-centre.org07913 573 404