We all know that homelessness is a problem in the UK – as budgets are shrunken and services cut because of austerity, more and more people are left without options.
Too many people can’t make it to a shelter or get food on a regular basis.
So who helps them?
Waltham Forest Feet on the Street
Waltham Forest Feet on the Street is a local community-led outreach programme for homeless people in our borough.
Twice a week they distribute food, clothes (and socks, a LOT of socks) to about 20-30 homeless men and women who are, as we speak, sleeping outside in this freezing cold weather.
This year, as part of our Black Friday sale and December-long holiday special we are supporting this group by:
- donating a portion of sales from our promotion,
- collecting goods to donate to their guys, and
- raising awareness in our community so anyone who wants to help them can.
Who They Are
Feet on the Street was started by Mags Drummond – a local East London woman who spends a lot of time helping ‘their guys’, as they call them, get to medical and services appointments (which can be hard, considering most homeless people don’t have watches or smartphones to tell the time).
Charlotte Hagan-Boyle, also East London born and bred (you gotta love East London) got on board about a year ago and they are the main organisers of the community group, going out in the evening to distribute the food they collect from other generous locals.
What They Do – Homeless Outreach Every Week
Every Tuesday and Thursday from about 7:30 pm, Charlotte and other volunteers run their route, with food, clothes, and other supplies, dropping things off, checking up on their guys.
They’re working towards renting a hall so they can host meals during the week too – that should be updated soon.
A Christmas Dinner is also in the works – so if you join their facebook page (see below) you can stay up to date with what they’re doing and what help they need.
During the day, Mags helps them to get to doctors appointments and benefits appointments as much as she can.
What You Can Do
Charlotte and Mags are always happy to have volunteers to help with outreach.
It doesn’t have to be weekly (I’m seeing if I can find once a month to go out and help).
They also need help collecting donations on ad hoc basis – people with transport are in short supply.
We will be taking in collections for them at our Leyton location (and Angel if it’s not too big for me to take home on the tube) – so you can check the list below and if you have any of those you’d like to get rid of you can bring them to us.
Here’s a list of things they regularly need (that you can drop off to us and we’ll get them to them)
JOGGING BOTTOMS SIZE MEDIUM (men’s)
T SHIRTS MEDIUM (men’s)
clothing/reusable stuff doesn’t need to be new and they avoid taking woolen jackets and duvets as they get too wet after rain
If you’d like to donate any items, you can either get in touch with them directly, or drop them off at your next appointment with us and we’ll arrange to get them to Mags and Charlotte.
Of course, if you’d like to both get some Christmas shopping / take care of yourself AND contribute to FOTS, we’ll be donating a portion of sales from any of our holiday special gift vouchers or other Black Friday weekend offers (details here).
Get In Touch
There you can connect about outreach, whether you’d like to donate, volunteer, or help out with the Christmas meal they’re hoping to donate this year.
If you have any questions about Feet on the Street, you’re welcome to contact them directly, or if you’d like to talk to us about bringing donations to the clinic, you can email [email protected].
Thank you for helping us keep the meaning of the holidays alive.