A SILVER LINING

We, at THE LONDON & SLOUGH RUN, have experienced that the covid lockdown has had a little silver lining for some of our homeless guests.

Whilst they have been accommodated in B&Bs, hotels, etc; we, together with social services, have had a golden opportunity to detect their mental and physical needs and give them help and guidance. Many guests have found that it has given them time to take stock of their lives without the worry of what the day holds for them.

Together with the help of the Slough Council Housing Unit, the charity has taken over two properties and we have been able to accommodate six men.  The good news is that three of them got jobs within three days of being in their new homes. Two of them are working in a recycling plant and one has been taken on by a gardening contractor. It proves that providing accommodation makes it possible for them to get jobs.

Around 45 were accommodated in a hotel in Datchet and many have taken positive steps to a better future. 22 of these men have been given accommodation by the Council and are looking for jobs. Sadly, some of our guests wish to remain on the streets but we now know their needs and can give them better help because they trust us. This would not have happened if it were not for the covid lockdown.

An amusing incident happened one night when the police turned up at the hotel asking if a certain gentleman was staying there. The security guard said yes and took them to his room, only to find he had joined up the bed sheets and the curtains to make his escape. He obviously had been watching too many war films!

Another gentleman said that he had been on the streets for 10 years and missed his hobby of going to the cinema. During lockdown in the hotel, he had caught up with a lot of films he had missed, so now he wanted to get a job and go to the cinema regularly!

Our experience is similar to that of other charities in London. So, the opportunity is not lost, we need to find more accommodation urgently for our guests to give them a roof over their heads, better welfare and a chance to get a job and their lives back on course.

ANOTHER GOOD NEWS STORY

Slough Council asked THE LONDON & SLOUGH RUN on Tuesday afternoon if we could urgently help a young woman and her three children (aged 9, 7 and 5) who needed protection from an abusive relationship. The Council found a flat and asked us for help with everything else, providing some furniture, food and clothing for them.

By six o'clock in the evening, thanks to St Joseph's Furniture Market, we were able to deliver everything they needed furniture wise, as well as food and clothing from our own stores. So, Tuesday night, they were able to start putting their lives back together again and lessen the trauma the children and mother had been through. They are very grateful for the help received.

FEEDING THE HOMELESS ON THE STREETS OF LONDON

The London Run continues this Monday. We must comply with government guidelines which means our regular team cannot meet together in the Parish Centre to prepare and pack the food. So, we are relying on your help more than ever.

Please bring your sandwiches, boiled eggs, soft fruit, crisps, drinks, individually wrapped cakes and small chocolate bars (such as penguins or two finger kit-kats) to the Parish Centre by 12 noon on Monday. You can leave your donations on the table just inside the door from 7:30am onwards.

We ask that you mark each sandwich bag clearly, stating what the contents are. Preferred fillings are cheese, cheese and pickle, peanut butter, marmite or jam. Jars of peanut butter, marmite or jam for sandwiches would be most welcome. Thank you for your continued support.

FEEDING NEEDY FAMILIES AND COVID GUESTS

We continue to provide basic foods to needy families in Slough as well as the guests we recently housed. Non-perishable goods such as breakfast cereals, rice, pasta (especially spaghetti), baked beans, tinned tomatoes, tuna or tinned meat needed; as well as bananas, oranges or satsumas. Please leave your contributions on the table inside the Parish Centre any day of the week and we will deliver them on your behalf.

WE DO NOT REQUIRE ANY CLOTHING AT PRESENT.