Street Work involves walking along the streets of London at night, usually after 9pm. We go out to offer a cup of tea or coffee and a sandwich, and spend some time with and talk to people.
We do so representing Simon and our philosophy of acceptance, tolerance, and understanding. We aim to develop supportive relationships with those who are vulnerable and isolated. Meeting people for the first time is a chance to build a rapport with them and to try to understand their needs.
The majority of homeless people are isolated, at best they are ignored, and at worst they are abused. To have a conversation with those who have been socially excluded is to see them as fellow human beings. It is a start to building trust where there is an expectation of fear and disapproval, and where prejudice and discrimination are faced every day.
The people who come to our Street Cafés tell us they like it because it is an opportunity to meet and socialise with their friends, as well as play chess or just read the newspapers quietly, in privacy and without worrying about being moved on.
We set up chairs and a table and provide the meal, tea, coffee, biscuits, cakes and fruit when possible.
Every Saturday and Sunday we are in the garden of St. Giles in the Field Church (WC2H 8LG) map.
Saturday from 2 to 4pm and Sunday from 1:15 to 3:15pm.
Every Tuesday we welcome guests to St Martin's Church in Vicar's Rd, Gospel Oak to join us for music sessions from 10.30am. In the morning there is keyboard tuition with a teacher and in the afternoon we sing! Lunch is available and we finish at 2.30pm.
Early morning Tea Runs go out on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. People can get some breakfast - a hot tea and coffee, sandwiches and pastries to start the day.
The schedule is:
7:15am - Arundel St, Temple
7:30am - Agar St, Strand map
8:00am - Henrietta St, Covent Garden map
Soup runs go out two evenings a week, on Wednesday and Thursday, where soup, hot & cold drinks and sandwiches are served. This is also an opportunity to hand out clothes and have a chat with volnteers.
The itinerary is:
8:15pm - Manchester Sq, Marylebone map
9:10pm - Maltravers Street map
10:00pm - Waterloo (behind NT) map