Crowdfunding for care ruck sacks for people on the streets this Christmas

I saw a great idea a few months ago to create care ruck sacks for people living on the streets, filled with lots of essentials. So during these cold months it will be things like scarves, gloves, hats, socks and items we probably all take for granted like toothbrushes, toothpaste, face wipes, notebooks and pens. And a Christmas card, with some vouchers in for food restaurants.

I did a leadership programme called On Purpose last year and my second placement during it was at JustGiving, to help launch their crowdfunding site called Yimby.

So I’ve combined the two things and am crowdfunding to raise money to create some bags. Our original target was £200 to create 6-7, at an estimated £30 each. We hit our target on day 1 and still had 29 days to go, so have increased it to £400 (which you can view here.)

One of the best things about it, has been people offering old ruck sacks to us. So we’re now suggesting to people that they don’t have to donate money, items for the bags would be great too.

We’re going to go out and give the bags ourselves and shall also donate some to a few homeless charities – but we wanted to actually give them ourselves.

I’d love people to do a similar project across different parts of the UK, to help even more people. So if you’d like to do one feel free to get in touch we’d love to hear from you.

Meet Colin – No second night out

No Seond Night Out

No Seond Night Out

You know when you meet someone with a sparkle in their eye, well that’s Colin. Officially one of the nicest men I’ve met, as voted by me and within minutes of meeting him. I’m sure some of you will think I’m exaggarating so here goes….

Colin sells hats, not just any old hats but amazing top hats from a London milliner. I bought a lovely black floppy hat for my holiday for £20.

He was homeless, through No Second Night Out he’s now working on this market stall in Spitalfields. Starting off with 8 donated hats, he now has over 20. The money he makes helps to keep him off the streets and make a living.

‘The No Second Night Out (NSNO) was launched on 1 April 2011 as a pilot project aimed at ensuring those who find themselves sleeping rough in central London for the first time need not spend a second night on the streets.’

Photography by Amelia Karlsen

Photography by Amelia Karlsen

Another magazine have just had their 25th issue mad hatter tea party, I wonder where Sienna got her hat from.  We all love a bit of fancy dress so if you need a hat, you know where to go, and it’s much better than Topshop!

Pay it forward – the search to find the homeless man Ronald Davies

Chicago Redditors have managed to track down Ronald Davies, the homeless man who’s helping change perceptions about homeleness. Ronald featured in a video in 2012, as part of a series called Big Questions tackling challenging social issues like poverty and inmate rehabilitation. The video has recently re-emerged via Reddit and has since been watched 2million times, shared 117, 237 and has 67, 597 likes.

A Reddit user Gawker saw the video and made a plea to the community:

‘The guy doesn’t need money, he needs an opportunity. As a restaurant manager myself with a homeless shelter only a block away, I know my establishment has given plenty of people opportunities as a dishwasher and they’ve completely turned their lives around.

Sure, some of them turn out to be crackheads that disappear after the first paycheck, but that’s far and away the exception. Many of them have become model employees and even trainers for my staff. And besides, it’s not like you’re investing any significant amount of money on training or education if the guy doesn’t pan out.’


Social enterprise in hospitality: STREAT

Could you have a sustainable social enterprise helping homeless people and selling coffee?  Surely the skills and scaling would make it unfeasible and that’s why in Australia, there are no precedents for hospitality enterprises?

Rebecca Scott is the co-founder of STREAT with her partner. It’s a social enterprise that operates cafés, coffee carts and a coffee roastery in Melbourne. They selected the location carefully after conceptualising it in Canberra initially but Canberra proved too small. They moved it to Melbourne, where the city not only loves hospitality and trying new things but also has a longer history of philanthropy. Once the idea was researched and a concrete business plan was in place, they pitched the idea to some Danish philanthropists, who ended up funding them – $700,000!

Rebecca I salut you.

Read the full interview with Rebecca for Smart Company, it’s well worth it:

we looked specifically for investors who wanted both a social and financial return on investment. So you would call them high impact investors. Every year we report to them on financial terms and very tangible social outcomes on each individual site.’