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Almost 600 homeless people died in England and Wales last year, according to official figures published for the first time. The figure represents a rise of 24% over five years, according to the Office for National Statistics.
These are the first official estimates of the number of deaths of homeless people, which show 84% of those who died were men.
Charities say the numbers confirm what they are seeing locally.
The ONS figures show that there were 482 deaths among homeless people in 2013, rising to 597 in 2017. A detailed breakdown shows:
• more than half of the deaths were because of drug poisoning, liver disease or suicide
• deaths increased throughout England but fell in Wales
• London and north-west England had the highest proportion of deaths
• the average age of death was 44 for men and 42 for women, compared with 76 for men and 81 for women among the rest of the population

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Many thanks to the customers and staff of Banana Wharf on Poole Quay for the winter jackets they brought in to R2R for our clients at the beginning of January. From 1st to 17th December 2018 Banana Wharf bar and restaurant invited people to donate a coat to the Homeless through R2R. Everyone who brought a coat to them got a free cup of coffee.

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Rev Lucy Holt (Rector of St James’ Poole, Rural Dean & Routes to Roots’ Trustee) successfully completed the last 5km of this momentous endeavour on 22 December 2018. Her aim was to raise awareness and money for the R2R Christmas appeal. She ran a total of 55km in Poole over Advent (11 x 5km) to mark the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem.