Pub landlords in Portsmouth are offering homeless people free shelter and food during the snow
WARM-hearted pub landlords are offering homeless people free shelter and food as the freezing conditions begin to bite.
Jayne and Colin Nash, who run the Milton Arms pub on Milton Road, opened their doors to rough sleepers on Thursday as snow and treacherous conditions descended on the city.
The weather system nicknamed the ‘Beast from the East’ combined with Storm Emma to create some of the most testing weather experienced in the city — and across the UK — for years.
Hearty stew, hot tea and coffee, as well as warm blankets and clothes have been made available in The Barn – an area of the Milton Arms normally used for functions that has been transformed into a sanctuary from the Arctic conditions.
Jayne said: ‘I would hate for anyone to die because of the cold weather so we’re just looking to help people who sleep on the streets.
‘‘I’ve made five big pots of stew so people can just drop in and help themselves and stay warm. We have quilts and other items to keep the homeless warm thanks to so many people donating things. We’ve been really surprised by all the messages and support we’ve had - it’s been amazing.
‘People have been dropping things in and offering to help. We really appreciate it and hope people carry on dropping off anything that will keep people warm.’
The pub had initially planned to open its doors for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night but with the possibility of cold weather lingering, Jayne said they would extend the offer for as long as the bone-chilling temperatures last.
‘Everyone is welcome whether it’s for one night or as long as the cold weather continues,’ she said. The pub has a booked function on Saturday night so people are being advised to turn up at 1.30am if they plan to stay then.
Jane added: ‘We just want to let as many rough sleepers know about this so we are urging people to tell them in the street as they don’t have phones and the internet.’ Elsewhere across the region, people have been making the most of the snowfall. With schools closed, youngsters have been building snowmen with their families.
The weather has also created a great opportunity for budding photographers to get creative with their photos, with chilly snaps being taken across the area.