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9 December 2019

This past Sunday morning, Glass Door's Shelter Manager Ben Davies appeared on BBC Radio London.

Ben featured on the Tim Arthur Show where he discussed Glass Door's Christmas Appeal, his own path to becoming a Shelter Manager, and how the general public can support those who are homeless at Christmas.

Myths dispelled

Ben talked about the wide variety of people he has met who turn to a Glass Door shelter:

If you've sat on the tube, you've sat next to a homeless person and you haven't recognised it.

'A guy a few days ago walked into the homeless shelter in a full suit. He's a care worker, literally doing my job, but he goes and sleeps in a church every night.

'Last year we had a young lady who worked in an ICU unit for premature babies. She would work a 12 hour shift then come to us, get a few hours' sleep and then go back to work.

'The stereotypical person of no means and no abode is just completely inaccurate.

'Everyone has a different story. The reasons behind homelessness are as diverse as the people themselves.

...And it really does work

'I was outside the night shelter one evening loading up the van and I heard someone yell 'Oi, Egg-chucker!' A guy who had been staying with us last year called me Egg-chucker after the odd-shaped rugby ball, because I am part-Welsh.

'The last time I had seen this guy was when he was on the cusp of going into rehab, which we'd fought tooth and nail for.

'I turned around and he was in his liveried uniform. Now he was working for an escalator repair organisation. 

'He'd been in rehab for three months and then he'd got back with his wife. He had just come to see me to say thank you and that he was off to Jamaica the next day to go on a second honeymoon with his wife. 

It hadn't taken much to get this guy, who was on the downward slope, who may have even lost his life because of the level of his alcoholism, to be turned around, to come back and become a useful and inclusive member of society. 

'We are hoping to raise £60,000 for our Christmas Appeal at the moment. It is just £24 to give someone a space to sleep for the night. Glass Door is run purely on donations. The generosity of those who donate is the lifeblood of our organisation.

After the show, Tim Arthur tweeted:

You were brilliant! Thanks so much for coming on the show mate. And thanks to everyone at Glass Door for all the incredible work you do.

Listen back to Ben's interview here.

If you would like to work towards a future where no one has to sleep rough in London, join the Glass Door community this Christmas.


Or check out:

Our top ways to make a difference to people affected by homelessness this festive season