‘Need A Coat? Take One. Want To Help? Leave One’


As snow and freezing temperatures hit Britain last January, a small group of friends decided to put a rail outside a London church with some warm clothes on it. Beside the rail we placed a sign which read: “If you’re cold, take one. If you can help, leave one.” What happened next was remarkable.

By the afternoon the clothes rail was full. People living and working near Exmouth Market had donated jackets and coats as well as gloves, hats, scarves and blankets; passing homeless people were helping themselves to whatever they needed.

As well as the clothes rail, ‘pledge cards’ had been created which enabled people to offer homeless people free food, drinks and other services. These pledge cards could be bought by locals from shops at a discounted price or donated by shopkeepers .

More than 100 meals and hot drinks were donated in the first day alone, in the form of pledges, and more than a dozen businesses on the street got involved.

The rail stayed for the entire winter, being replenished each day with warm clothes and spawning similar initiatives around London and Britain.

In fairness.

‘Need a coat? Take one. Want to help? Leave one’: Tackling the scourge of homelessness in the UK (Stefan Simanowitz, Ceasefire Magazine)

Thanks Bebe

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7 thoughts on “‘Need A Coat? Take One. Want To Help? Leave One’

  1. Slightly Bemused

    It is a great idea. And one that should be replicated here.

    Or, not ‘should’ because that implies the inevitability of homelessness. Rather ‘could be replicated here’ recognising the actuality.

    Place it outside the cast iron railings of Leinster House, on whichever side Eoghan Murphy’s office looks out on, as a reminder of how his programme is working!

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