What is it like to do a student placement with Thames Reach?

Maja discusses what she has learned during her social work student placement

What is it like to do a student placement with Thames Reach?

“During the pandemic I did some work at a food bank in Camberwell, and while volunteering I realised that I wanted to shift my career towards helping people. I was walking past Thames Reach’s Camberwell office all the time, so knew where they were, and decided to do some more research to find out the kind of support that they offer people. After my time at the food bank, I had started my degree in social work, so for my placement I applied with Thames Reach, and was told that I might be a good fit for the TST* [Tenancy Sustainment Team].”

A day in the life of a social work placement

“I would always start the day before, preparing for the next morning’s visits. As a volunteer, I didn’t have my own caseload, but I assisted a support worker in the team, so would be making to visits to people across London, in the form of welfare checks, or other things they might need. I would organise this in such a way that manages my time well, for instance I would try to get to see everyone living in South West London in one day. Usually, my day consisted of visits in the morning, then catching up with admin in the afternoon, either in the office or at home. Flexibility is key for the role, as sometimes visits don’t go exactly to plan, and I might be needed to help out with other issues during welfare checks. For example, I might spend an hour on the phone to the gas company for someone we support, other times I’ll be told that they are fine, and it’s only a short visit! If things don’t go to plan, it can be a bit of a challenge, but there have been times when I’m doing my admin later on and am actually able to identify the progress someone is making.

“The element I’ve enjoyed the most has been meeting the people Thames Reach work with. I spent the early part of my placement observing support workers and the reality of homelessness; it has been so inspiring to see how the academic work I’ve been doing for my degree comes together with practical experiences. I could notice myself becoming more confident as the time went on!”

Challenges of the work

“I was definitely quite naive in the beginning; I didn’t realise how complex the transition from homelessness to recovery and independent living can be. I thought that housing equals recovery, but there’s so much more that goes on in terms of supporting people when they’ve been traumatised. Playing a small part in showing people that they deserve a higher standard of living has been rewarding.”

Advice to future volunteers

“To anyone thinking of doing this kind of volunteering, I’d say go for it! Especially if it is part of a placement, as it can really boost the theoretical and academic side of social work. It’s really important to be proactive; showing people that you are there to help is really important, as is a willingness to get involved with anything that needs doing. Get as much experience as you can! As well as my work with TST, I was able to visit other projects such as hostels, to see the bigger picture of the different ways in which people are supported. I’m hoping to come back to London once I graduate to continue doing this work, so watch this space!”

*The Tenancy Sustainment Team (TST) are a vital part of Thames Reach’s recovery work, helping people who have had experience sleeping rough to move towards independent living, with support packages that help people in their homes once they have been housed. This support can help with issues around mental health, employment, physical health and addiction. 

Check out our Volunteering page for a range of ways you can support Thames Reach.


How women are supported through trauma-informed hostels

Area Manager Bethan discusses the experiences of women in hostels

How women are supported through trauma-informed hostels

Bethan is Thames Reach’s Area Manager for Hostels. With years of experience in key work with people facing multiple disadvantages, she discusses the barriers women come up against when moving through the homelessness pathways in hostels.

“We see lots of people move through our hostels, all with different stories and histories, and the demand is only getting higher. Although, there are much fewer women in our hostels than men, and there always have been. It’s important not to generalise, but we have fewer women residents in our hostels as they tend to stay as long as possible with their support networks, even if they are challenging, precarious or dangerous environments.

“It can take longer to build relationships with women in the hostel setting, sometimes as a result of the traumatic experiences they have faced before arriving. When someone we’re working with has already been through significant trauma and abuse, staying in one place can be difficult and anxiety-inducing, and it’s not uncommon for people to move between hostels if their needs aren’t being met. We have to look at what their particular needs are, and we help them make and attend appointments such as physical and sexual health care.

Key workers have to be flexible and creative when building trusting relationships; back when I was a key worker, I was supporting one woman who wouldn’t even answer the door when she first arrived, which I totally understood, so I’d just leave her a cup of tea outside every morning, and popped a note under her door to let her know I would be available when she’s ready to talk.

“There is a lot of discussion about gendered spaces at the moment, and while they certainly have benefits, trauma-informed spaces are arguably more important. At Thames Reach, all our hostels are trauma-informed, which means that we support people in a way that acknowledges and works with trauma, rather than against or despite of it. This is essential in helping people move on in a way that makes sense for them.”



Thames Reach receive grant as Lloyd’s of London Foundation charity partner

Thames Reach are delighted to have been selected as one of Lloyd’s of London Foundation’s charity partners for 2023

Thames Reach receive grant as Lloyd’s of London Foundation charity partner

Thames Reach are delighted to have been selected as one of Lloyd’s of London Foundation’s partners for 2023. This selection was made after a vote by employees at Lloyd’s, resulting in a £50,000 grant to support financial resilience and digital skills training for people at risk of homelessness.

Thames Reach have been selected on the basis of fulfilling the Foundation’s criteria, including: supporting people and communities directly, demonstrating long-term sustainability, and supporting groups that are at risk and hardest to reach.

Our Employment and Skills team help the people we work with to move towards suitable employment by developing essential skills and finding sustainable jobs, thereby ensuring they can afford their rent, pay utility and food bills, and ultimately keep their homes, ever more so, during the current cost of living crisis. With this grant, the Employment and Skills team will be able to help 2,000 people this year.

Thames Reach’s Employment and Skills programme includes the following strands:

  • Financial Resilience and Digital Inclusion: IT training and equipment to ensure the people that we support have the skills essential for the day-to-day activities of everyday life.
  • Information Advice and Guidance: to help a person to establish their goals, objectives and aims (keep a roof over their head, pay the bills, train and develop skills, and seek employment).
  • Access to Training including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): over 50% of the people currently sleeping rough in London are non-UK nationals and need to improve language skills in order to access work.
  • Volunteering: we provide people with little recent experience of the workplace environment, an opportunity to volunteer with appropriate support and training to build confidence, self-resilience, workplace skills which are a precursor to a pathway into employment.
  • Job Brokerage: we provide job brokerage with employers, as we help people prepare to move into work, including interview preparation, work placement, and matching people with supportive job offers.
  • Step Up: we provide those already in work with support to increase their income and job security.

Bill Tidnam, Chief Executive at Thames Reach, said: “We are delighted to be one of Lloyd’s of London Foundation’s charity partners for this year. This generous support will allow us to expand our work preventing homelessness, by helping people to maintain their tenancies, develop skills, find work, and gain confidence. By providing digital skills and financial resilience advice to almost 2,000 people, we will be able to work towards closing the social and digital exclusion gap, and help people manage their own lives successfully.”

Zorina Begum, Area Manager for Employment, Skills and Prevention Services at Thames Reach said: “It is a privilege that Lloyd’s employees have chosen Thames Reach as one of their Foundation charity partners of the year. We very much look forward to the many opportunities to work with Lloyd’s employees as volunteers to support the delivery of our skills and employment homelessness prevention work, for instance as mentors to our service users, supporting with CV writing and interview skills.”

For editors:

Thames Reach is a charity based in London, supporting people facing homelessness through prevention, response, and recovery. The charity specialises in helping people with complex and multiple needs, including mental health and drug and alcohol use. It manages a range of services, including street outreach, frontline hostels, day services, specialist supported housing and employment and skills schemes. Thames Reach’s mission is to assist homeless and vulnerable adults to find decent homes, build supportive relationships and lead fulfilling lives. thamesreach.org.uk

The Lloyd’s of London Foundation is the independent charity founded and funded by Lloyd’s. We partner with people and charities to build resilient communities.

Society needs resilience more than ever: the ability to bounce back from unexpected events and prepare for a more sustainable, inclusive future.

That’s why we are working to empower and embolden communities through tangible action and long-term partnership.

We channel the resolve, relationships, and resources of the Lloyd’s market to open doors and drive real change for people around the world – instilling confidence and unlocking independence. www.lloyds.com/foundation


Success stories from our Tech Lending Scheme

Angie* and Kamil* have been able to make positive changes to their lives and gain further independence thanks to receiving a tablet from the Tech Lending Scheme

Success stories from our Tech Lending Scheme

Last year, we happily revealed that we were working in partnership with Hubbub and Virgin Media O2 to lend tablet devices to people we work with across Thames Reach. Recipients, many of whom are in hostels and temporary and emergency accommodation, have access to the device, apps and six months of free calls and data, thanks to the partnership.

Managed by the Essentials Skills team at Thames Reach, there has been a hugely positive response from the scheme, which is currently in its pilot stage. Angie* and Kamil* have both received a tablet on the Tech Lending Scheme, and are gaining further independence.

Angie is in her fifties and a resident at one of Thames Reach’s hostels. She has a history of mental health support needs and drug use, both of which she has been receiving support for during her time in the hostel. Back in September 2022, she received a tablet from the Tech Lending Scheme, and said she intended to use the device for music and games. Angie is a big character, and a prominent figure within the hostel, and has proven to be a big advocate of the Tech Lending Scheme, role-modelling positive behaviour and results to other residents. Staff have remarked how peer-to-peer advice is often the most powerful intervention, and resonates with Angie’s fellow residents. She has used her own tablet to help cope with difficult periods of mental health, describing listening to music via the device as a coping strategy. When contacted by Tech Lending Hub staff for feedback, she said, “I’m loving it. I use it 24/7. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to have one.”

Kamil is a Polish national in his forties who has been residing at our night shelter since early October 2022. He has limited English language proficiency, and a history of physical ill health. He was loaned a device by Thames Reach within his first week of moving into the shelter, and immediately started using it to make positive progress, including attending an online ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes twice a week. He uses his tablet to complete online homework set by his ESOL tutor, as well as additional study outside of class, which will contribute to future independence. When Kamil needed to visit hospital at the end of October, he was able to use the Voice-to-Text Google Translate feature on his tablet to liaise with doctors about the problem he was experiencing, allowing him to receive the right treatment. Staff at the shelter have remarked that Kamil has been using the tablet to provide peer support to other residents, hoping to embed digital skills for others who have received tablets through the Tech Lending Scheme.

*names have been changed for confidentiality purposes

What must the next Prime Minister do to help end street homelessness?

As the Conservative leadership race nears its end, our Chief Executive, Bill Tidnam, looks at what the new Prime Minister needs to do to end street homelessness

What must the next Prime Minister do to help end street homelessness?

As the Conservative leadership contest draws to a close and we find out who will be our new Prime Minister, we know that the big issues facing the next government, especially COVID recovery, the cost-of-living crisis and Brexit, all play a part in any attempts to end street homelessness. Our Chief Executive, Bill Tidnam, discusses what is needed to put an end to street homelessness.

“The last three years have seen a reduction in rough sleeping, and an improvement in the way that central and local government have worked together with organisations like Thames Reach towards the goal of ending rough sleeping.  We have also seen an increased recognition that the work of other areas, notably health and criminal justice services, are part of the problem and therefore need to be part of the solution.

Protecting recent progress

“Significantly, this has been unpinned by a Treasury settlement that has set funding plans for a three-year period, which started in April this year.  This is a relatively short time, but it has allowed us to plan and develop services that are beginning to make a real difference.  We still have a very long way to go, but we are going in the right direction.  Our first ask is that the new government protect this progress and recommit to this dedicated spending and the ambition of ending street homelessness, without which we will lose the progress that we have made.

Addressing benefit issues

“Our second ask is that the government looks again at benefits. In London, the combination of a benefits cap and local housing allowance limits mean that much of London is unaffordable to single people who are on low incomes and reliant on benefits for support, or who are not in work.  This means that people spend longer than they should in temporary accommodation and hostels, and that they are unable to find accommodation in areas that they know and where they can find work, contributing to labour shortages in industries like hospitality and construction.

Non-UK nationals

“Finally, it remains the case that around half the people sleeping on the streets of London are non-UK nationals.  We welcome the increased flexibility shown by the Home Office in working with this group, for example the relaxation of deadlines around settled status.  However, the options available to our outreach teams working with non-UK nationals are far more limited, and as a result many may remain on the streets.  Without a flexible and compassionate approach that focuses on getting people off the streets, our aspirations to end rough sleeping will remain out of reach.”


Reflections on Waterloo Project, Thames Reach’s first hostel

At the end of August, the Waterloo Project will close after over 35 years as a Thames Reach hostel. Lead worker Lorraine reflects on its successes and lessons.

Reflections on Waterloo Project, Thames Reach’s first hostel

At the end of August, the Waterloo Project will close after over 35 years as a Thames Reach hostel. The project was an innovation in provisions for people sleeping rough when it opened in the 1980s, and Thames Reach have been able to learn a great deal about the kind of support that needs to be given to make an individual’s move away from homelessness sustainable. Having worked at the project for several years, its lead worker, Lorraine, discusses its legacy.

“My name is Lorraine, I have been working at The Waterloo Project for several years as a relief worker and since January 2021 as a lead worker. I started at Thames Reach as a volunteer in 2013 and have since worked at multiple services within Thames Reach.

Psychologically-informed environment

“The Waterloo Project is a psychologically-informed environment (PIE) hostel, it has been running for over 35 years in the same building, and was the first hostel to trial and implement the PIE approach. It has been very successful as a psychologically-informed environment and as a hostel. In short PIE means we work with our residents in a holistic way, including having reflective practice for staff, to understand our residents’ backgroundand journey to better enable us to support them. The communal spaces are open and inviting for people to feel comfortable to engage with staff and psychologists, who work in the building, in various activities and to talk in.

“We work with people who have been rough sleeping in, and have a connection to, Lambeth who have complex support needs. We support them to access services for substance misuse, mental and physical health, financial support, sexual health and to motivate and encourage them to do more meaningful things with their time, to sustain positive changes they are making such as activities in the community like gardening, music, volunteering or courses. We also often have to engage residents with specialist services such as; social services, eating disorder services, domestic violence and specialist women’s services.

“We are working with residents to move on to accommodation with less support or independent living accommodation. We have referred people into supported accommodation, council housing, housing first, shared housing in the mental health pathway – with more appropriate support and into clearing house.


“One aspect that makes the Waterloo Project special in my opinion is the team. This shows through the engagement of the residents and the positive things they say, often being that TWP has been the first place they have felt safe and supported, and could see their lives changing because they have moved here. The project has been a place of hope and connection, full of stories and characters.

“The building itself is unique, with a beautiful garden, light welcoming kitchen, and upstairs lounge. So many visitors to the project would comment on how special the place felt and how focused and supportive the team were.”

Lorraine and the rest of the team share their best memories of the project:

“Food! one year we celebrated a resident’s 60th birthday by having a BBQ for everyone. Even though the cooking and prepping for it was stressful it was worth it, there was a good turn out and residents enjoyed the food and socialised well with everyone. The birthday resident was really happy we did this for him and still talks about it to this day.”

“One year having a Christmas tree donated to the project and residents getting involved with decorating it, listening to Christmas songs, singing, and chatting about Christmas and the New Year, with positive thoughts.”

“Baking cakes with residents, and other residents coming down and chatting and all getting along and laughing because one of the batches went terribly wrong!”

“Food and playing Jenga, so many hours of Jenga!”

“Reflective practice sessions where we’ve thought differently as a team about a resident that was really challenging, then as a team learning to see things differently.”

“Cooking the meals and facing personal challenges in cooking a Saturday fry up and Sunday roast dinner for 19 people and receiving comments from residents about how good it was and that they enjoyed the meals”


Volunteer Klarissa on art as therapy

Volunteers’ Week: Klarissa volunteers at one of our hostels, running an art group for residents

Volunteer Klarissa on art as therapy

Klarissa volunteers with Thames Reach, running an art group at one of our hostels in central London. She has been doing this since the start of the year, and reflects on what it means for residents to get involved with a creative practice, as well as what she has learned from the experience.

“I come in every Wednesday and run an art workshop in the afternoon. It’s important that I keep the structure as open as possible, so people don’t feel put off by a lack of experience or confidence in making art. The objective certainly isn’t to produce a perfect painting or drawing, it’s to have some time and space to be freely creative, in a way that feels comfortable.

“When I started volunteering, I came into it quite naïve; I was full of enthusiasm and was very amped up at first but then I realised that I’m coming into an environment where someone might be finding themselves again, they might be at the beginning of their journey. I now know that I need to take a back seat and hold the space. Being gentle and taking things slowly can be far more inviting than coming to a group where the facilitator is super happy and chirpy; it’s been a process trying to find that balance, but a very rewarding one.

“The residents are great, it’s been a wonderful experience meeting new people with new creative ideas to work on together. We’ve been able to lean into the challenges that come with being creative, the ongoing hope is to work through cycles of low self-esteem to find that all creativity is valuable and valid. It’s so easy to feel embarrassed by art-making if you’re not confident with what you’re doing, but leaning into that is a skill that we’re all trying to learn. Doing something that can free us from our daily routine and anxieties can be therapeutic in itself. Then there’s the production element of it: once an artwork has been made, it’s a real statement of showing people who you are and how you appear in the world! There is a real issue with people feeling invisible once they’ve experienced homelessness, but making art can be one way to show people how you feel, and how you express yourself. I have gotten to know people at the project not necessarily by them telling me everything, but through the art they are making.

“Having the space for making art, having a chat and being creative every Wednesday means that residents know it’s here, as something completely separate from their usual support networks and friendship groups. People come to the art group with all kinds of issues going on in their lives, but I hope to create a space where they can do something outside of that for a couple of hours. I don’t do this in the expectation that it will change anyone’s life; although I’m interested in therapeutic activites, I’m not a trained therapist, so I have to manage expectations. If it can just change someone’s Wednesday, then I’m happy.”

Interview: Addressing healthcare inequalities in our hostels

Our interview with Yves, manager of the Robertson Street hostel accommodating residents over the age of 40 with mixed support needs, discusses health inequalities among residents

Interview: Addressing healthcare inequalities in our hostels

Health inequalities are one of the main concerns for Thames Reach in our work to end street homelessness. We spoke with Yves, who manages our Robertson Street hostel in south London, on the work they are doing to ensure more people are getting access to the support they need.

Hi Yves, can you introduce us to your service?

Robertson Street is located in Lambeth, south London, and is what you would call a ‘first stage’ hostel, meaning we can get referrals from a range of sources through Lambeth’s Vulnerable Adults Pathway. We have a capacity for 42 residents and ideally each resident’s length of stay is between six months and two years.

What kind of support do residents have access to during that time?

We are an accommodation-based service to  people over 40, so provide access and signposting to support. We want to help residents to be able to move on to independent or semi-independent living following a stay here. We’re part of the Lambeth Vulnerable Adults Pathway, and accommodate residents with a range of different and complex needs. These support needs may have previously contributed to their homelessness or not being able to maintain tenancies or other forms of accommodation. Other hostels in the borough work with different age groups, which is why we specialise in over 40s. We do have a couple of people under 40 but this is because their complex physical, or other, needs cannot be met in other services.

What is your approach to addressing healthcare inequalities at Robertson Street?  

We strive to counteract inequalities and promote inclusion. Inequalities take several forms when we are working with people who have experienced street homelessness, as we must support people to bridge these inequalities, mostly in terms of healthcare. One of the things we do is work with the pathway manager and other external partnerships in order for people to move into needs-based accommodation. It is paramount that an individual can access the support they need. We have a nurse and GP clinic once a week at Robertson Street, as well as a prescribing clinic, and we have very good connections to community mental health services. We really make health a priority. Initial assessment work is carried out in-house when residents first move in, then we can signpost to physical, mental and other medical advice externally, meaning they can continue to get support in the community after they move on. We support residents to attend appointments, working with partnership agencies and Groundswell. This level of encouragement and support enables a smoother move-on into the community when the time is right.

What challenges has your hostel faced during the pandemic?

The main challenges were the move-on pathway becoming less mobile than usual. The repercussion for move-on being unavailable was that we couldn’t move people into the hostel either, so incoming and outgoing options were very limited. Community services that we always promote were facing closures and limited availability, such as day centres, mental health support, drug and alcohol services and other community-based resources, so we had to try our best to keep up momentum and motivation for move-on. While moving services online to Zoom is a good way of keeping people safe, many residents have found this difficult to engage with. We have been keeping residents motivated that their move-on will be happening eventually and kept preparation going. As a team we’ve accomplished this really well, and have been able to keep morale up. Aside from our normal work we had to implement extra cleaning on-site, but it made a big difference; we reduced risk of infection by sanitising the building twice every shift and educating residents about social distancing, risk management and maintaining safe practices.

What positive outcomes have emerged from overcoming these challenges?

We have a great team with good adaptability who can deal with and are supportive of a range of needs. There is a good balance between experienced members of staff and enthusiasm of people who have recently come to work in the sector. I’m proud that we’ve been able to provide a consistent and continual service throughout the pandemic, which reflects the project and Thames Reach as an organisation; we haven’t had to defer anything. Anything that wasn’t available in the community we brought in; our next step is now integrating residents and services back into the community.

New hostel and moving-on accommodation in Lambeth

Our new hostels in Lambeth are helping people move on from street homelessness towards independent living. We spoke with Gareth Bowen, lead manager at Acre Lane and Clarence Avenue projects, about how this is working after the ‘Everyone In’ initiative.

New hostel and moving-on accommodation in Lambeth

Can you tell us about the projects you manage?
Clarence Avenue is an eight-bed project, all self-contained studio flats with en-suite bathrooms and kitchens. We are one of the hostels under Lambeth council’s Vulnerable Adults Pathway to help people come off the streets. We work with residents to help them get to where they need to be. When they first arrive, they will be assessed to see how independent they are and what they might need help with.

At Clarence Avenue, staff provide support for a wide range of issues that residents may arrive with, as well as helping with daily tasks such as budgeting and shopping. Once they are ready, residents will be referred to Clearing House, which is a form of social housing on a two year tenancy, and will be assigned a support worker from the TST (Tenancy Sustainment Team), making sure their support needs are covered. In Clarence Avenue there is always a member of staff available at reception to answer any urgent queries and monitor people entering and exiting the building. The clients there make appointments to see their support worker, which helps to prepare them for more independent living and engaging with services in the community.

I also manage Acre Lane, which is Thames Reach’s newest hostel. Between January and March, it was acting as a cold weather shelter. If outreach workers found someone sleeping rough in Lambeth they could bring them here to be accommodated while we found out more about them . The building is currently being refitted and redecorated;. Part of that refit is having one studio downstairs which is more isolated, which is reserved for a vulnerable person who may benefit from living closer to staff areas.

How does the Lambeth Vulnerable Adults Pathway work?
Lambeth council work hard to ensure all people rough sleeping are made an offer of accommodation. Several Thames Reach hostels are commissioned by Lambeth, so Robertson Street, The Waterloo Project, Lambeth High Street, Martha Jones House, and now Acre Lane and Clarence Avenue. The council commission projects such as ours within their Vulnerable Adults Pathway, including supported housing, and people can move between them as required, with the end goal of moving out of supported accommodation and maintaining their own tenancy. Street homelessness is often complex and not straightforward to resolve, so we work with people to address their support needs.

What positive outcomes have you seen so far?
Trying to test people’s abilities to live independently has its challenges but residents having more freedom at Acre Lane has been working well. We run cooking classes once a week on each floor; some of our residents have not had to cook for themselves in a long time, so building up these skills is going to make a huge difference. While we provide support based on their needs, we also need to make sure we’re covering the everyday tasks and skills that residents will need to have in place in order to live well independently, so for example we can go to the shops with them if they need it, as well as signposting to external services, to help them engage more with the wider communities.

When Acre Lane was the cold weather shelter, we housed a lot of people in a very short space of time, which was really impressive.. Once people were housed, we were able to focus  on longer-term solutions, and again this was focused on the support needs of the individual. The team of staff have done really well, and worked so hard to help people move on in difficult circumstances. The project was set up very quickly over the winter months and everyone has had to be very adaptable and flexible, it’s been a strong team effort.

Just Eat campaign feeds almost 2,000 people experiencing isolation and poor health

The campaign run by Just Eat which launched in December 2020 has helped Thames Reach provide tasty and nutritious meals to almost 2,000 people experiencing social isolation and poor health

Just Eat campaign feeds almost 2,000 people experiencing isolation and poor health

Prior to Christmas 2020. Just Eat, the well-known food outlet, in association with Social Bite, the organisation behind the Worlds Big Sleep Out in 2019, ran a fundraising campaign raising money to alleviate the growing problem of food poverty.

When ordering their takeaway, Just Eat customers were invited to donate a small sum on top of their order total to raise money to buy 200,000 Christmas meals for people in need across the UK. Thames Reach was one of fifteen charities selected to distribute the funds raised.

The campaign and the money raised exceeded expectations, and the charities quickly hit their target for the number of meals provided. With the help of some fantastic volunteers, Thames Reach staff across the organisation distributed 500 meals to people living alone and in food poverty over the Christmas period. This was particularly important this year, with the cancellation of  festive meals and services, which are so important for people who live alone and in poverty.

But this is not the end of the story. Because the fundraising campaign was so successful, we have continued to provide meals and groceries to vulnerable and isolated people through January, February and March. In fact, we have distributed an additional 1300 meals to people in need. This couldn’t have been more timely, with the pandemic seriously affecting those who needed to self-isolate, but who didn’t have the kind of family support so many of us can rely on.

We want to say a big thank you to Just Eat and its customers, Social Bite and our partners, particularly The Good Eating Company, which provided really high-quality ready meals, and a huge thank you to our fantastic volunteers. They distributed the meals and offered a little Christmas cheer and a warm smile to everyone they met.