‘Help the Homeless Donation Hub’ nominated for a Diocese of Westminster Social Action Award
London, 1 June 2021
The Companions of Order were among the shortlisted for the prestigious award, which recognises help for the socially marginalised in central London.
The Companions ran the Help The Homeless Donation Hub from April to July 2020 and November 2020 – May 2021 in St Joseph’s Hall, Brompton Oratory. Members of the Order, Companions and the OMV (the Order’s youth group) came together to sort, pack and donate over 65,000 items of clothing, shoes, toiletries and small items of entertainment e.g. books, to the homeless who had been rehoused in hotels and hostels in the Westminster borough. Over 60 volunteers supported the project.
Other projects ran concurrently
In St Joseph’s Hall the Companions ran other projects at the same time. With Covid guidelines of social distancing in place, the Companions put together 806 Christmas parcels with four items of clothing and 15 different toiletries per parcel in December. All these were assembled in one evening, with hours of preparation before it, and then sent to 15 centres around England and Scotland. Support included to new centres in Peterborough, the Seafarers in Felixstowe and a project with the Carmelites in Charles Square, London with the Mother Teresa Sisters.
At Easter 600 Easter parcels with five items in each one went to the different centres, once again assembled in the hall in one afternoon. The Companions also put together 167 Easter baskets and 80 Easter hampers for the elderly and the staff at the OSJCT care homes. Finally, last summer the Companions packed a collection of gifts from Lourdes, for St John’s Day (24 June), and sent them to the hospital pilgrims who would have been coming to Lourdes with the Order on the May pilgrimage.