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Friends raise thousands to help the homeless

    A welfare scheme run by Jewish friends has raised thousands of pounds to provide help for the homeless in London.

    Their venture, Warm this Winter, brought in almost £12,000 over 48 hours in January to fund care packages for rough sleepers. They were distributed over an area spanning Clerkenwell, Oxford Street, Soho and Piccadilly.

    Simon Glazin, a fashion blogger from St Albans, was among the organisers. “We all live in and around London so we see a lot of homeless people on the streets every day,” he said. “This winter has been a particularly harsh one so we wanted to do something to help them.”

    “Seeing the difference we could make — and the response from the homeless — was so powerful and humbling. We try to listen to what the homeless people want so that each care package is tailored to their needs, not what we think they need.”

    Hollie Sassienie, another organiser, said “the overwhelming reaction and gratefulness” had made group members determined to continue their efforts.

    The group wants to take a hairdresser on a future run, Mr Glazin added. “It’s important the homeless feel a sense of dignity.”

    According to homeless charity Streets of London, around 8,000 are sleeping rough in the capital, a figure that has doubled in the past six years.

    “Having listened to homeless people, we hear again and again how the government is increasingly bad at responding to their needs,” Mr Glazin said.

    The group plans to register as a charity under the name of Impact “to keep growing, working with other organisations and expanding our reach”.

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