20th December 2021

As temperatures plummet across the UK, an innovative initiative offering a way for people to help rough-sleepers and those facing winter hardship, will be launched today in London and rolled-out nationwide in the coming weeks and months.

Take One Leave One is a surprisingly simple way to help homeless people by offering warm clothing and one experiencing hardship this winter.

A sign reading “If you and cold take one, if you can help leave one” is erected in public space beside a rail filled with warm clothing. The rail is replenished each day with coats, jackets, gloves, hats, scarves and blankets provided by people living and working in the area. Anyone in need, helps themselves.

“With freezing temperatures hitting Britain, this simple idea which can be replicated in any street in the world, is trying to ensure homeless people and anyone facing hardship can stay warm this winter,” said Take One Leave One, Stefan Simanowitz who began the initiative with just one rail outside his office in 2018.

“Take One Leave One is a sticky idea which is why it has spread. People see it and are inspired to get involved wherever they are. All you need is a rail, a place to put it and a sign which you can make yourself or order one.”

Now in its fourth year, the idea has seen scores of rails spawn across the country and even overseas as far afield as the US and Canada. Two winters ago, more than 20 rails were set up around the UK and last winter more than 30 rails were set up. In pre-COVID days rails would stay outside churches or subways all day, every day, but COVID rules have required that rail are manned and supervised.

The launch event is happening at once such rail in Vauxhall that was set up in January 2021 and has been running every Friday, from 12 to 3pm.

“We have a great team of dedicated volunteers who want to make a difference to people’s lives, no matter how small. One of our volunteers met us when he was homeless. He visited us often and was so motivated he was able to seek accommodation and now volunteers with us every week,” said Hayley Eroeola who helped set up and run the #TOLOVauxhall from the start.

“We see many new faces every week, but there are around 25 regulars who pop by for clothes and snacks but mainly for a cuppa and a chat. Many people can go a whole week without talking to anyone and that’s where our team can step in. It is an honour to be there each week and support those in need.”

The Take One Leave One idea has the received the thumbs up from homelessness charities including Centrepoint and Crisis and the Big Issue has helped promote the project for three years.

TOLO has also received celebrity support with visits from actor Rob Delaney and Tweets from the likes of Gary Linekar, Emily Maitlis and band Massive Attack who helped to promote the rail in Bristol.

“I love this idea. Please be kind” Boy George tweeted on launch day last year.

TOLO also has a new mascot this year in the shape of Farringdon Bear, a homeless stuffed Koala who was found on a train in Farringdon Station earlier this year and whose search for his owner went viral and hit the media. (read his story here https://twitter.com/StefSimanowitz/status/1447161699824508929)

As temperatures plummet across the UK, an innovative initiative offering a way for people to help rough-sleepers and those facing winter hardship, will be launched today in London and rolled-out nationwide in the coming weeks and months.

Take One Leave One is a surprisingly simple way to help homeless people by offering warm clothing and one experiencing hardship this winter.

A sign reading “If you and cold take one, if you can help leave one” is erected in public space beside a rail filled with warm clothing. The rail is replenished each day with coats, jackets, gloves, hats, scarves and blankets provided by people living and working in the area. Anyone in need, helps themselves.

“With freezing temperatures hitting Britain, this simple idea which can be replicated in any street in the world, is trying to ensure homeless people and anyone facing hardship can stay warm this winter,” said Take One Leave One, Stefan Simanowitz who began the initiative with just one rail outside his office in 2018.

“Take One Leave One is a sticky idea which is why it has spread. People see it and are inspired to get involved wherever they are. All you need is a rail, a place to put it and a sign which you can make yourself or order one.”

Now in its fourth year, the idea has seen scores of rails spawn across the country and even overseas as far afield as the US and Canada. Two winters ago, more than 20 rails were set up around the UK and last winter more than 30 rails were set up. In pre-COVID days rails would stay outside churches or subways all day, every day, but COVID rules have required that rail are manned and supervised.

The launch event is happening at once such rail in Vauxhall that was set up in January 2021 and has been running every Friday, from 12 to 3pm.

“We have a great team of dedicated volunteers who want to make a difference to people’s lives, no matter how small. One of our volunteers met us when he was homeless. He visited us often and was so motivated he was able to seek accommodation and now volunteers with us every week,” said Hayley Eroeola who helped set up and run the #TOLOVauxhall from the start.

“We see many new faces every week, but there are around 25 regulars who pop by for clothes and snacks but mainly for a cuppa and a chat. Many people can go a whole week without talking to anyone and that’s where our team can step in. It is an honour to be there each week and support those in need.”

The Take One Leave One idea has the received the thumbs up from homelessness charities including Centrepoint and Crisis and the Big Issue has helped promote the project for three years.

TOLO has also received celebrity support with visits from actor Rob Delaney and Tweets from the likes of Gary Linekar, Emily Maitlis and band Massive Attack who helped to promote the rail in Bristol.

“I love this idea. Please be kind” Boy George tweeted on launch day last year.

TOLO also has a new mascot this year in the shape of Farringdon Bear, a homeless stuffed Koala who was found on a train in Farringdon Station earlier this year and whose search for his owner went viral and hit the media.

Source: London Post