29 June 2020
As the “Help the Homeless” project operating from St Joseph’s Hall, is in its last few weeks, it was lovely to end this week with 7,895 items going out to the many homeless moving from the hotels to new homes. And an article in the Evening Standard!
It has been a fantastic team of 48 volunteers helping at the hall and driving the supplies to the hotels and hostels. There have been so many different groups and individuals collaborating together to make this project possible. Obviously a special thanks to the Fathers at Brompton Oratory for the generous use of their hall.
Link to the article: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/spirit-of-london/soup-kitchen-charity-switches-to-essential-supplies-a4481341.html
25 June 2020
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, Companions in Caithness have carried out a support run every Sunday in their liveried Companions medical vehicle, and have been on call for other support. They check up on those who have not been seen by friends in their parish for a while, give them spiritual support, a basic medical check – and some much-needed company.
The care is provided by three Companions, two of whom are trained to First Responder level. Their run lasts 3 to 5 hours each Sunday and covers the area between Wick and Thurso. They are well known in the area and often receive call-outs.
Companion Justin Hall with medical supplies and liveried vehicle.
23 May 2020
As we end week 7 at the Homeless project in St Joseph’s it was the busiest day yet. 4 donations arrived – mainly large quantities of clothes. 23 different deliveries went out across London. Children’s clothes to families made homeless through a fire, toiletries to shower projects, clothes and books to the rough sleepers still in the hotels and hostels and some gifts donated by Libertys to the volunteers and nurses in outreach programmes. Bank Holiday Monday plans to be another busy day for Peter, the team leader at the project, and his team with three more large donations coming in and the spread sheet updated to send to the hotels and hostels for this weeks’ requests.
We are extremely grateful to The Oratory for letting us use the St Joseph’s Hall.
21 May 2020
In Scotland they have continued to help the poor and homeless during the pandemic. Angus Hay is doing two deliveries each week, from Banchory to the The Cathedral Church of St Mary of the Assumption in Aberdeen. He makes a collection every evening from the supermarket in Banchory and once a week picks up donations from the local community at Banchory Parish.
In the photo you can see the amazing collection of food given out to the homeless and poor. This project is shared with volunteers from St Vincent de Paul and the St Andrew’s Community in the Cathedral yard.
9 May 2020
60 postcards were sent to the elderly who normally come to the tea parties in St Josephs. Flowers and chocolates were donated to the care homes across London – red, white and blue for Royal Hospital Chelsea.
25 April 2020
The Government is not currently advocating the wearing of masks by anyone who is not working on the frontline, however, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, has confirmed a review is ongoing.
Masks are worn to try and protect the people around you/the community. People who are asymptomatic can have CV19 and spread it to others without realising they are contagious. Washing your hands, not touching your face and social distancing are the best way to protect yourselves. But it is possible that we will either be required or at least advised to wear face masks in public places and on public transport in due course. Other countries have gone down this route.
As we all know from reports in the media, PPE supply chains for the health care sector are strained, so some of our number have started to sew masks for use in due course by our guests and volunteers. Please find attached easy CFM sewing instructions. The only thing you need is a sewing machine and, of course, the materials. I have also attached some helpful washing instructions.
Once you have made them, please send your masks to:
32 Cross Deep
Twickenham, Mddx TW1 4QW
If you have any queries, please send them to Annie to forward to the Companions who are leading this project – the writer would not know one end of a sewing machine from the other.
Thank you in anticipation and for all your support for this and our other endeavours at this time. Keep safe and God Bless.
24 April 2020
During the pandemic the regular soup kitchen, that is held in The Strand, has moved to Trafalgar Square. Last night over 150 Companion packs, that were going to be given to the men and women who come to the Companion’s London soup kitchens, were distributed at Trafalgar Square. The homeless were delighted to receive these. They consist of a kit bag, t-shirt, baseball cap and a lip balm. Also enclosed was a little card with the Call a Companion’s email details on it, incase they want to contact us.
12 April 2020
The UK Govenment has arranged for rough sleepers and some homeless in crowded hostels to be lodged in hotels to provide for their health and well being during the pandemic. As our normal service to our homeless friends have been suspended the Companions contacted the Rough Sleeping Team to ask if we could help as there is clearly a need to support those lodged in the hotels.
Thanks to the generosity of the Oratory Fathers, on Wednesday 8th April, we opened the Companions’ “Help the Homeless Project” at St Joseph’s Hall, Brompton Oratory. Kate MacKenzie is controller and Peter Sieyes the lead volunteer. Three days a week a group of volunteers will receive deliveries arranged by Wesminster City Council. These donations will be sorted and the local hotels informed of these items to then make orders. Once a week the donations will be delivered to the hotels. At present we will be delivering clothes, toiletries and small items for entertainment. Westminster expect this to increase over the next few weeks to incorporate other hotels and hostels.
We are delighted to be able to support our homeless friends in this way until we are able to resume more normal contact.
12 April 2020
The London Companions were concerned that there were food supplies, for the homeless, in the store room at the Companions’ Cafe in Spanish Place. Some of these had a long shelf life, but could be utilised better by being given to a food bank now, rather than waiting until we open again. After managing to locate a food bank that was able to take 43 boxes of Pheasant Curry and Pheasant casserole – with poppadoms to complement the curry – three volunteers headed out this week to pick up the supplies and drop them at the food bank in Westminster.
Each box has 6 x 3Kg pouches that serve 8 – 10 people/pouch. Hopefully a feast for a family over the Easter holiday break.
12 April 2020
Following the Christmas card initiative, where cards were sent to the care homes, the Companions decided to repeat this for Easter. 250 Easter Cards were sent to Max Rumney to distribute to the Care Homes. A great variety – some made by children, some had poems written inside them and some had pictures drawn. These cards were taken to the care homes in Marlborough, Calne, Devizes and two homes in Salisbury. Many elderly were delighted to receive these as visits at the care home are reduced during the pandemic.