Big Issue Vendor

This community ‘take one leave one’ initiative is fighting the cold snap

The founder hopes his clothes rail move will spark others to set up their own initiative

As temperatures drop across the country a new community-led initiative has launched in a bid to help rough sleepers keep warm during the cold snap.

#TakeOneLeaveOne launched yesterday (January 29) at London’s Exmouth Market, offering coats, scarves, gloves and blankets to anyone who needs them.

Rails and baskets can be found outside the Holy Redeemer church and ‘pledge cards’ for services at local businesses are available offering laundry services, food and hot drinks and haircuts.

One of the founders and journalist Stefan Simanowitz was inspired to set up the idea by noticing a need for a simple way for his community to help others.

He said: “This simple idea which can be replicated in any street in the country, aims not only to ensure homeless people are warm and fed this winter, but also hopes to help break down the barriers that too often make rough sleepers feel invisible in the communities in which they live.

“The initiative has only been running for two days but so far is proving a tremendous success both with locals who are getting involved – dropping off clothes and making pledges – and with homeless people who have been taking warm clothing and using pledge cards to get hot food and drinks and even haircuts.”

It is hoped the initiative will encourage others across the UK to follow in Stefan’s footsteps.

Follow @Take1_Leave1 for more updates

Image: Stefan Simanowitz