Please login to the form below

No one needs to go hungry in London

Our Say blogger returns to St James’s Church Winter Shelter for an overnight shift for the West London Day Centre charity.
Two weeks after my first shift, I returned to St James’s Winter Shelter for my second, this time as part of the overnight team. Two volunteers, along with the guests, are required to stay overnight in the body of the church. The Winter Shelter provides named and labelled bedding for each guest at the start of the season so they have the same bedding every stay. Once dinner and the evening’s entertainment had finished (although I’m not sure my hacked-about version of Claire de Lune on the piano would count as “entertainment”) the guests made their way upstairs to the church where there was enough room to spread out. It’s organised so there is a women only area and separate toilets as well. Lights out was at 11pm and despite the unbelievable snoring (sounded like a trumpet!) before I knew it, it was 6.15am and time to get up.

So, back to the familiar territory of the kitchen to prepare breakfast; cereals, fruit and yoghurt. By 8am breakfast is due to be over and all the bedding neatly packed away. On this occasion we were a little behind schedule – understandably no-one is in a hurry to leave.

A highlight of the night was helping a guest get ready for his first day at his new job! Felt good. Great tips from another guest on getting top spin when playing table tennis. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to be remembered and welcomed by another guest, “hey, you’re the chef, sausages were banging!”

Courtesy of the Pret a Manger Foundation Trust we collected food from our nearest branch (as do all the shelters) to give to guests as they left for their lunch that day. Undoubtedly the walk from St James to Green Park, past the shops of Piccadilly, the Ritz and bright lifts of Mayfair makes seeing someone homeless even more poignant.

The work that organisations such as the West London Day Centre carry out, makes a massive difference to people’s lives. Without being laid back about it, perhaps the most extraordinary comment I heard from one of the group was how food is not a problem in London, no-one needs to go hungry. Good to know, but all the same, it’s hard seeing the look on a guest’s face the next morning, preparing to venture out onto the streets again. So very sad.

If you wish to help through donations, charitable giving or volunteering please check out their website or their Just Giving page

– Written by Marcus C.

2nd March 2016



Company Details

Say Communications


Contact Website

Tuition House
27-37 St George's Road, Wimbledon
- None -
SW19 4EU
United Kingdom

Latest content on this profile

The power of influence in transforming women’s health
Over the past four years HRT prescriptions have doubled in the UK, the cause was turbo charged by the action of celebrities and influencers.
Say Communications
The doctor will text you now: Why healthcare providers cannot underestimate the importance of communicating change
Healthcare communication needs to switch from ‘transmit’ to ‘receive’, listening to what patients need and embracing the plethora of communication tools wholeheartedly.
Say Communications
Can tobacco companies really reinvent themselves as healthcare companies?
A surprising move by key player, Phillip Morris, has called attention to the start of a new era for the tobacco industry. But can tobacco companies reinvent themselves as healthcare companies?
Say Communications
Why you should feel optimistic about the future of healthcare
It has been a difficult year to remain hopeful for those working in the healthcare industry, but there are some reasons to remain optimistic.
Say Communications
Stick or twist? The future of HCP engagement
The Covid-19 pandemic forced companies to be more agile and rethink their value offering when engaging with HCPs, but what does the future of HCP engagement look like?
Say Communications
Stick or twist? Looking at the patient experience as we emerge from the COVID pandemic
The pandemic has given us a glimpse (actually, more of a very long look) at an alternative way of receiving healthcare and engaging with the NHS. And that alternative fits in with 21st century life in a much better way for many of us. So are these changes here to stay?
Say Communications