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  1. ITV Report

Flu jabs and health checks offered to the homeless in Luton

The flub jab is being offered to the homeless at a drop in clinic in Luton Credit: ITV News Anglia

As the number of people homeless across the East of England has increased by 44 per cent since last year, a welfare centre in Luton has been offering free flu jabs to people who are sleeping rough.

It's to prevent homeless people falling ill, and potentially dying from the virus

Jermaine Parara being given his flu jab by Community Matron Lisa Parrish Credit: ITV News Anglia

"We are homeless, we see people dying in the winter so you have to be careful. Because the winter takes them down and they catch cold and die off, they freeze off. But homeless is about family we all stick together."

– Jermaine Parara, Homeless since 2008

More than fifty people have so far been vaccinated by NHS staff who run the drop in clinic at NOAH Enterprise, a welfare centre in Luton.

"We have a dental service that comes here weekly, we have mental health support and drug and alcohol counselling and that combination really helps."

– Jim O'Connor, NOAH Enterprise
A mini health check is also included at the drop in clinic Credit: ITV News Anglia

Luton has one of the highest rates of homelessness in Britain.

"t's important to give the flu jab because these people are all very vulnerable, if they get flu it could cause hospital admissions because they've nowhere else to go. Up until I started this project I hadn't realised how many homeless people there were and how vulnerable they are. And I think everyone sees them but you just walk past them, so this has really opened my eyes."

– Lisa parrish, Community Matron

Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Elodie Harper.