IT IS the time of year when we all want to warm the cockles and keep ourselves snug when it is raining heavily outside.

As we approach the depths of winter, it is important to recognise the hard work which has been done to help the homeless and rough sleepers in Brighton and Hove.

Today we have reported on the apparent decline in rough sleeping over the course of the past year.

Council figures showed a dramatic drop from 178 rough sleepers in November 21 last year to 64 on the same day this year.

While this year the weather may have taken a chilly turn with snow showers, the opening of the Brighton Centre and other homeless initiatives are doing a great deal of good.

But with Christmas approaching, there is still a great deal of work to do.

Nobody likes to see rough sleeping on our streets, and this time of year is a time for feeling charitable and looking out for those who are worse off.

The council has previously pledged to end rough sleeping in the city, which is a noble objective as much as it is a necessary one.

This is why the help readers will give to various organisations, such as the Brighton Housing Trust or Shelter, is vital.

Without any doubt, there are often complex problems that some homeless and rough sleepers need help with.

These involve support and agencies across society.

Yet in the darkest and coldest days of the year, what they urgently need is the type of help that keeps them warm, puts a roof over their head, and gives them some food.