Every Friday afternoon, charity worker Hayley Eroeola sets up a clothes rail underneath the railway arches in Vauxhall, London. She fills it with warm clothing – coats, jackets and jeans – and piles a table high with food. A sign reads “If you are cold take one, if you can help leave one,” and guests come to take a coat, choose a tune for the boombox and chat over a cup of tea.
Eroeola set up the site in January, after seeing a tweet about the Take One Leave One campaign. The idea is simple: set up a rail and a sign in a public place, and help people donate and take winter clothing if they need it.
“I just thought, okay, that’s something I can do,” said Eroeola.
“It’s sad to say that it is very well attended,” she said. “It’s really sad to know that so many people need things.”
The stall gives away nearly 30 items of clothing every week, but Eroeola says the need is greater than just food and coats.
“A lot of the guys who come to us on a Friday, they say this is the only place where you can come and talk and hang out,” she said. “For some of them, we’re the only people that they speak to from week to week.”