The Sit-Up Service

cups and microwave


The Sit-Up Service provides a safe, warm, dry place for up to 5 rough-sleepers to spend the night, alternating between Bosco House and Bosco Lodge.

The Service provides clients with a hot meal, toilet and washing facilities, and emergency clothing where necessary. Accessing the Service will be, for many, the first step towards independent living.

The Service is open every night of the year from 8.00pm until 8.00am, but the latest anyone can access the service is 9.00pm. Any referrals outside this time must be made by telephone to Bosco on 0151 944 1818 and staff onsite will determine if they are able to accept the service user into the scheme.

The Service is available to any person who presents who will be sleeping rough that night. Other homeless organisations can make formal referrals to the Service for their clients. The Service is open to persons ordinarily from Sefton although, in practice, it provides an “open door” service for all rough-sleepers in Sefton. This Service is not obliged to accept referrals from other areas where alternative arrangements exist, although Bosco can do so on request.

All potential users of the Service will be subject to the formal referral process. A formal referral must be fully completed, irrespective of whether the service user is currently recorded on Mainstay. It is not acceptable for agencies to provide the contact details to the service user and signpost. Referrals can be refused and service users excluded for the reasons of risk and/or previous behaviour.

An individual can access the service for a maximum of 7 nights continuously and for no more than 3 periods during a rolling calendar year. The Referring Officer and Referring Agency will continue to be responsible for providing more stable accommodation for the service user (e.g. using Mainstay or PPP). Bosco will not necessarily source alternative accommodation.

On referral and presentation to the Service, staff at Bosco will undertake a personal risk assessment regarding individual rough-sleepers. It is acceptable for staff at the Service to decline admittance for any persons who they consider to be too great a risk to staff or other service users. If a referral is refused, the person will be advised as to the reasons for the decision.

Young people aged under-18 are not allowed in the Service. Any referrals received regarding persons aged under-18 will be declined and the agency advised to contact Children Services. Only in exceptional circumstances, based on a referral from Children Services, will access to the Service be allowed.

Anyone that appears to be in priority need (as per the Homeless regulations) can be referred to this Service. Bosco will undertake an assessment and, if necessary, will refer to the Housing Options Team for statutory assessment.

Bosco will not pay for travel costs for persons being referred to the Service. This will be the responsibility of the individual or the referring organisation.

Anyone referred to the Service must be assessed within the Mainstay system and their assessment must be updated to include the referral. If the referring agency is not part of the Mainstay system they must fully complete the referral form and discuss access to the Service with Bosco staff prior to advising the service user.

Some service users will be unwilling to work with staff and/or other organisations to deal with their underlying concerns and rehousing, but they will not be denied the Service unless based on a risk assessment. Their non-compliance will be recorded on their record.

The Health and Safety of staff and service users is paramount.

  1. Risk assessments will be completed by Service staff.
  2. Health matters: anyone presenting at the Service with an emergency medical need will be referred to A&E. If the referring agency is aware of this emergency medical need they must not refer the client to this Service but to A&E.
  3. Health matters: any service user presenting with a non-emergency medical need will be advised to contact a health professional as soon as possible and this advice will be recorded. The referring agency must ensure that the relevant medical information (e.g. GP details) are recorded on the referral form.
  4. Alcohol and drugs: no alcohol or non-prescription drugs will be consumed on the premises. Any service user not willing to adhere to this condition will be excluded.
  5. Safeguarding: any matters that are brought to the attention of Service staff that may be considered a safeguarding issue will be brought to the attention of supervisory staff and then reported to the appropriate authorities at the earliest opportunity. The referring agency must advise of any concerns they have when competing the referral.
  6. Any other H&S matters will be dealt with in accordance with Bosco current policies and procedures.

Record keeping

Bosco will keep records regarding referrals and information disclosed within. It is vital, therefore, that all information contained within the referral is accurate.