Vicki Lant On 2 October 2020, I joined Glass Door Homeless Charity's Sleep Out to bring shelter and support to men and women affected by homelessness. On one of the wettest and blustery nights this autumn I learned firsthand what trying to get precious sleep, alone and in considerable discomfort feels like. For me, that was one night. I could then go inside, dry out, climb into my own bed, worry-free and get up to hot food of my own choosing. I don't kid myself that experience was anything like the daily cycle of worry and hardship experienced by far too many.

I'm raising money for Glass Door again because they have done outstanding work in times before the pandemic to support and shelter those in our community who are at an absolute crisis point. During the pandemic they have been tireless and the energy of the team and volunteers has been faultless in feeding and sheltering those in greatest need and seeking out those who became homeless as financial pressures closed in. Glass Door welcomes everyone as their guest, giving them some stability before helping them make the necessary steps and move off the streets for good. The pandemic has brought so many of us to near crisis and desperation as sources of money dry up and lenders and landlords may be pushed to limits too. You can be sure that homelessness will increase this coming autumn and winter as the impact of government rescinding the eviction-protection bites. More and more people like you and me whose jobs just didn't tick the boxes for the pandemic special funding will be tipped into homeslessness. Estimates suggest this could be as high as 250,000. As access to public hygiene facilities remain locked down, the plight of homeless people becomes filled with daily indignities and increasing stress. No-one should have to live like this.

While running winter night shelters in shared spaces may not be possible, Glass Door is committed to finding ways to ensure that individuals in need can find safe shelter, a hot meal and a warm welcome.

Last year you helped me raise nearly £1000 and together, we improved the lives of 829 people in London. Everyone thinks the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the richest in the capital. It is, but starkly has the widest gap between the haves and have nots. My church, Holy Trinity Sloane Square, works closely with Glass Door to support in outreach ways and since I arrived in London, two years ago, we have joined the sleep out as part of our support. Please donate anything you can - together, we can help to provide shelter and support to many more who have nowhere else to turn.

I am so delighted at your response - you are helping me to really push beyond my target, which really helps Glass Door bring more people in off the streets. If you're interested to see my experience, I kept a diary:

https://youtu.be/ARuglGL1akk

https://youtu.be/YjzrjwQ5gsY

https://youtu.be/rD9kC3G6l90

https://youtu.be/0i9oX_ZAXeo


Heartfelt thanks for your incredible generosity xx Vicki Lant