Earlier this month, the team at New West End Company spent the afternoon at The Connection at St Martin’s in the Field (The Connection) where we helped decorate the canteen, dining room and recreational areas for the Christmas season.
The Connection help thousands of homeless people in London a year recover from the trauma of homelessness, working around the clock to provide immediate relief from homelessness and long-term support leading to housing, work and independence
Throughout the year, we work closely with The Connection, funding an outreach worker to support those sleeping rough within the district. This year, over 150 rough sleepers have been aided by the outreach team, not only in engaging with people directly on the street, but also supporting them through next steps, such as referrals to health clinics and housing services to ensure they get the support that they need.
We also have two new tap donation points in the West End. In partnership with Veolia, we launched The Giving Bear, a light up sculpture made of recycled milk bottles from local West End businesses. The sculpture also includes tap donation technology which enables visitors to donate to Westminster City Council’s Hidden Network campaign. Hidden Network is a dedicated group of professionals and volunteers who provide services such as councelling, befriending and addiction recovery, and also help with secruing long-term employment and accommodation for those sleeping rough in Westminster. The bear is installed in Mount Street Gardens until Monday 6 January 2020.
The second tap donation point has been installed at McDonalds on Oxford Street. In partnership with Westminster City Council, the restaurant’s first £3 donation point enables the public to further support the Hidden Network campaign.
While Christmas is a festive and fun time of year, it is also a time for giving, so please do look out for contactless donation points across the distrcit, where you might be able to make a difference to someone sleeping rough this Christmas.