Our Night Shelter Video


Central Government has had a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) in place since 2003.   Building on previous work in providing emergency provision for rough sleepers across Wirral, YMCA Wirral created a service to meet the needs of those most vulnerable in all weathers – rough sleepers – known as Wirral Overnight Safe Refuge for Rough Sleepers (WORRS).


The principle aim of the WORRS is to create a place of safety overnight and prevent loss of life and the suffering attached to living in inclement weather and cold temperatures to street homeless people.  The secondary aim is to enable partner organisations to make best use of opportunities to engage with long-term rough sleepers, who are normally resistant to coming indoors.

The service is available between 22.00 and 07.00 seven days a week and is located at our main site – 56, Whetstone Lane, Birkenhead, CH41 2TJ – Telephone 0151 650 1015.

Access to the emergency WORRS provision is subject to the following criteria:

  • Person fulfils the criteria of “street homeless”
  • Person must have a local connection
  • Persons must be 18 years and upwards
  • Persons must provide brief personal details for records collation and fire roll-call purposes and must agree to their details being passed on to other relevant agencies
  • The SWEP is available on a first come first served basis – no spaces can be reserved. Due to limited spaces referring agencies must check availability prior to referral.
  • Person agrees to adhere to the following basic rules:

No use of drugs and alcohol on the premises

No violence, abuse or intimidation of any other party within the building

They leave the YMCA premises at 06.00 each morning of the provision and make their way from the area of the project

All instructions given by YMCA duty staff are fully adhered to

(Anyone failing to adhere to these instructions must understand that they will be required to leave the premises).

Any person accessing the WORRS is able to gain warm overnight shelter, warm food and drinks, re-cycled clothes and toilet and shower facilities along with guidance, advice and support from a dedicated Night Duty Staff.   The over-night provision is designed to fit into the 24 hour provision of other services on Wirral and clients are signposted to follow on services/facilities such as the day services at Charles Thompson Mission.