The Surrey Heath Partnership, which includes Surrey Police and Surrey Heath Borough Council, has made every effort to work with the All Night Café to ensure it is being run properly and legally in order to ensure the safety of those using its facilities. We cannot treat it any differently to any other organisation in this situation. We have made repeated requests for the café’s constitution, accounts and other relevant documents, which we did not receive in a timely manner and were not robust enough to satisfy safeguarding responsibilities.
The All Night Café is therefore an unregulated facility, which means that we are not able to share information with them in relation to dangerous and vulnerable people who may be using the café. This obviously presents a significant and serious risk to staff at the café, and the other people who use it. There is also evidence of male and female service users sharing sleeping facilities, despite the obvious risks this presents. We are therefore unable to endorse the All Night Café or signpost people to their services.
We have worked closely with the other organisations in the Surrey Heath Partnership throughout this process. The Surrey Heath Partnership remain open to engaging with the All Night Café with regard to addressing these issues and supporting them to achieve regulated status.
In the last year the housing team at Surrey Heath Borough Council has helped 82 single people secure housing (housing association, private tenancies or supported housing) and helped 61 single people from losing their current homes and therefore avoid becoming homeless.
The housing team is available to assist those affected by homelessness and will do all we can to help current customers of the All Night Café. The Council will offer emergency accommodation for anyone with a direct link to Surrey Heath and help assess the needs of any individuals using the All Night Café in order to help them secure a home and settle into their local community. We would encourage people to contact us as soon as possible, as the more time we have to work with them the more options are likely to be available.
Whilst the Council will support all those people with links to the Borough we do recognise that we can’t help everyone. For anyone who doesn’t have a connection to Surrey Heath we will help those individuals access the services and support they may need from their home authority. More information is available here: www.surreyheath.gov.uk/residents/housing/housing-advice-support
Support is also available from The Hope Hub, a charity which aims to prevent homelessness in Surrey Heath. Among the services offered by The Hope Hub is specialist 1:1 long term case worker support to address the often-complex needs of those who are affected by or at risk of homelessness with funding secured to provide a full-time specialist mental health worker in recognition of the specialist training which may be required.
This runs alongside crisis services, including food, clothing, personal hygiene items and healthcare support, mental health and/or addiction support, help to secure accommodation, outreach, money management and debt advice, together with workshops and training to help secure employment. More: https://thehopehub.org.uk/