Christmas is a time for happiness, family and friends, but for the men and women living on the streets of Leeds and London, this time of year can be particularly hard. Levels of homelessness have risen dramatically over the last decade, with a recent study carried out by housing charity, Shelter, estimating there to be at least 300,000 people in Britain now homeless – equivalent to a city the size of Newcastle.
Concerned at the growing numbers of people sleeping rough on the streets of Leeds and London, our colleagues wanted to do something meaningful beyond traditional financial handouts. In 2016 we engaged with a local Leeds homeless charity, St. George’s Crypt, located just around the corner from one of TCC’s Leeds offices to find out how we could help.
What initially started off as a couple of bake sales to raise funds for the charity, last year culminated in the Christmas Box Scheme, where participating colleagues donated items to two local homeless charities St. George’s Crypt (Leeds) and Rhythms of Life (London). The initiative was a great success and we were able to generate a number of boxes full of useful items from our colleagues in our Leeds and London offices. Colleagues really enjoyed giving items that they knew promoted the mental health and wellbeing of the many homeless people we see on the streets every day whilst also supporting two invaluable local charities.
“It has been a pleasure to be involved with this very worthwhile cause” said David Moland from industry friend Arbuthnot Latham, whose colleagues donated an enormous, and very generous, 17 boxes!
Through the generosity of this year’s widened network we are pleased to say we have been really successful in increasing the quality and quantity of donations to help a greater number of homeless people this Christmas. And we hope to do even better next year!