CONCERNS raised by Camelsdale residents about people apparently sleeping rough for several days in a van, resulted in emergency accommodation being found for two Romanian casual workers employed by Aspinal at Fernhurst in the run up to Christmas.

Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Janice Hopwood called the police after neighbours became worried about two people, who had been sleeping in a van over the weekend in the lay-by opposite Sturt Farm.

“The police came out but told me no action could be taken, because it was perfectly legitimate,” she said.

“They said it was two people working for Aspinal wrapping gifts.

“I contacted Aspinal on Tuesday and they said they were quite upset that any of their employees were sleeping rough. They checked and said the two workers came through a Guildford agency and they would see if something could be done to help them.

“It didn’t seem right to us that people packing handbags worth £750 upwards as Christmas gifts had to sleep in a van with no sanitation.

“They had to sit in the dark and turn the engine on to keep warm.

“Aspinal called me back that night to say they were working with the agency and had found emergency accommodation for them so they did not have to sleep in their van. We were all very pleased there had been a positive outcome. At Christmas, it was nice to think room had been found at the inn.”

An spokesman for Aspinal – who gave a guided tour of their site to Prince Andrew nearly four years ago – told The Herald: “It was a complete surprise to us. They work for Brook Street Agency, in Guildford, which has strict background checks as part of its duty of care but they were not aware they had been made homeless.

“It came as quite a shock to the agency, too. Both Aspinal and Brook Street are doing what we can to get them back on their feet.

“It’s very sad for the workers concerned. They are very proud and that’s the reason why they were not forthcoming with the agency.

“We are doing everything we can to help them out and working with the agency, have found accommodation for them for the Christmas period.”