A new safe haven to give those who are sleeping on the streets a warm place to go during the day, has opened.

Merton Council has teamed up with Commonside Community Development to create a drop-in café for rough sleepers at the New Horizon Centre in Pollards Hill called the ‘Merton Horizon’ Project.

The drop-in, at the centre in South Lodge Avenue is to open for four months.

Cabinet member for regeneration, housing and transport Councillor Martin Whelton, said: “It’s just as cold and bleak during the day on the streets as it is at night during times of severe weather, and there is just as many dangers for vulnerable people.

"There is an increase in night shelter provision in the winter but often people do have leave the premises during the day.

"This is why we are urging people to help spread the word about this new facility available for rough sleepers.”

“The council is committed to supporting their most vulnerable service users turn their lives around. The centre is a place where people can just come along and relax in a safe warm place, access the support they need or if they like, take part in a range of activities.”

Anyone sleeping rough is invited to attend the centre from 8.30am on all weekdays where they can enjoy a two-course hot lunch, play table games or watch television.

Attendees will also be able to get support and advice with benefits, drug or alcohol addiction, education, training and employment options and help with any paperwork they may need to complete.

If you are concerned about a rough sleeper please let the council know via Street Link which can be contacted via www.streetlink.org.uk. Telephone 0300 500 0914