Wear a Woolly Hat and Help The Homeless

Charity hoping to raise awareness and much needed funds

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Councillor Hitesh Tailor (right) with Stephen Watson, St Mungo's outreach manager.

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Homelessness charity St Mungo's manages the outreach service for Ealing, among more than 100 projects across London and the south.

Stephen Watson and his colleagues go out each night to check on anyone sleeping rough in the borough and support them off the streets and into appropriate accommodation.

While this outreach service is commissioned by Ealing Council, St Mungo's fundraises to provide many of the skills, employment and health
services that helps people off the streets for good, where statutory
funding is not available.

That's why they've launched their first ever Woolly Hat Day on Friday 22 October. They're asking people to wear a hat to school, or work, and donate £2 to St Mungo's, or hold a hat party, or get creatively fundraising in other ways.

Stephen Watson, St Mungo's outreach manager in Ealing, said: "In total, 94 people slept rough in Ealing in the last 12 months, up from 71 in 2008-09. Our aim is to help anyone newly rough sleeping into the most suitable kind of accommodation as soon as possible. At the same
time we're also encouraging those who, for whatever distressing reason, may have slept rough for some time to also move into the best housing for them, depending on their physical and mental health needs.

"But getting people off the streets is the first step. Homelessness is not just about a roof over your head. The St Mungo's Pathways to Employment programme, for example, is largely charitably funded and helps homeless people develop a route back from no home and no job into
activities, skills training, volunteering and employment. Around 56% of the 1,500 residents in our accommodation have previously slept rough. Only 4% of these people are currently in work, with more than half needing help with literacy, numeracy and other life skills that would
help them into paid jobs.

Cllr Hitesh Tailor Cabinet Member for Housing said: "I know the valuable work that St Mungo's does within the Ealing community itself and their wider work, supporting people not just with housing but also health, employment and recovery opportunities.

"Woolly Hat Day is a light hearted way to show your support and help raise awareness of the serious problem of homelessness. I would encourage everyone, at work, school or home, to get their hats on for homeless people and support Woolly Hat Day on Friday 22 October."

For more information and to download a fundraising pack about Woolly
Hat Day, see www.mungos.org/woollyhatday , email WoollyHatDay@mungos.org
or call 0845 2 WOOLLY (966 559).

Every pound you raise will help open doors for homeless people!

October 12th 2010