A winter shelter project in Barnstaple provided accommodation for homeless people more than 200 times in January.

North Devon Council's Safe Sleep project opened its doors at the Salvation Army on January 2, providing temporary accommodation for up to 20 rough sleepers.

The service will run up until March 31, ensuring homeless people from the North Devon and Torridge districts are able to choose to sleep in a warm, dry and safe place during the winter months.

North Devon Council is reminding the district's rough sleepers to take advantage of the service during the cold weather.

The service helped 29 different people who approached it for support in January, and offered 216 bed spaces for accommodation over the course of the month.

Of those who have used the service - seven have now been housed or been able to return to their accommodation through negotiation.

North Devon Council's lead member for housing, Councillor Nicola Topham said: "We are so pleased that Safe Sleep has been able to help some of our district's rough sleepers, giving them somewhere secure and comfortable to sleep at night and offering the help they need to find a more permanent solution to end rough sleeping and the risks and dangers this presents.

"We would like to remind anyone without a roof over their head that the centre's doors are open to them.

"We would like to thank the Salvation Army, the food bank and the team of volunteers for their ongoing support, as well as the public for the generous donations they've made."

Along with providing a free and safe place for homeless people to sleep, the project enables individuals to establish and maintain relationships with welfare professionals from a range of government and voluntary organisations.

This support enables homeless individuals to overcome common obstacles to finding accommodation - such as lack of identification or a rental deposit - and creates an environment in which people are able to help themselves by accessing the necessary assistance to reintegrate with the community and find homes.

If you believe you are at risk of becoming homeless, get in touch with North Devon Council as soon as you can on 01271 388870 or email customerservices@northdevon.gov.uk.