Wycombe Homeless Connection says it will not be able to keep vulnerable rough sleepers safe at its regular winter night shelter - so will not be running it this year.

The charity says they have had to make the “difficult decision” not to open its winter night shelter, which provides a safe night’s sleep out of the cold and a warm meal for those on the streets, because of the risk of spreading coronavirus.

A spokesman said: “We know this will be hugely disappointing and unsettling for many of our volunteers and supporters.

“And it might seem early to be making this decision, but this is the time of year we would be working with churches to book venues, recruiting volunteers, planning training sessions and more.”

The homelessness charity says it is working with the council to make sure emergency winter support is still available, even if the night shelter cannot open.

Staff are also bracing themselves for a “deep recession” as the world comes out the other side of the pandemic - which could see their services stretched.

A spokesman said the charity’s homelessness prevention hotline, which was opened up at the start of the pandemic, has been “very busy” - but as the economic effect of the crisis becomes clearer and the pandemic-related ban on evictions is lifted in August, they are expecting they will become even busier.