St Matthias Richmond team in action.
17 March 2020
fortnightly update for volunteer coordinators

Dear <<First Name>>: 

Glass Door's guidance was updated yesterday to reflect the rapidly evolving landscape and the latest government guidelines around the coronavirus outbreak.

As per an email from Megan sent to volunteer coordinators and our partners last night, the current plan is for shelters to stay open for existing shelter guests, but we are no longer referring new guests into the shelters. We have also stopped our dinner-only service. These policies will be reviewed regularly, and we will continue to send updates as new procedures come into place. You can find details and more information specific for you (and volunteers and staff) in our online coronavirus hub.

Staff and volunteers have been quick to adapt to the constantly changing advice and working hard to keep everyone safe. We are in uncharted waters, but together we are finding new ways of working and supporting each other. As we weigh considerations that affect the well-being of guests, partners, staff and volunteers, your calm and caring attitudes and actions are appreciated. Thank you for your commitment, thoughtfulness and support throughout the winter, and especially during this challenging time.
GD Coronavirus Hub

Casework updates:

  • H&F: An older British guest who we supported to gain a freedom pass and receive a Care Act assessment has now been placed in temporary accommodation by a Local Authority. Caseworker Alex supported a younger guest through a mental health crisis and he has now accessed a hostel outside of London. Thanks to employment coordinator Jay, a young guest from Bulgaria has now started work at the Royal Garden Hotel, which has also provided him accommodation.
  • K&C Central: We have linked three guests from this circuit into immigration advice with the external help that migrant project manager Anna has sourced. As with all immigration cases, there will likely be a long road to resolving each situation but we hope that this new professional partnership will lead to effective ongoing support.
  • Richmond: Caseworker Gemma helped a guest into accommodation and to start an English language course while another guest has been placed into supported accommodation by St Mungo’s. A female guest who we supported in a hostel for a few weeks has been supported by caseworkers Gemma and Lewis to return to Trinidad so that she could avoid overstaying her visa.
  • K&C South: A long-term female guest has moved into a room via a refugee hosting programme and we have booked another guest into a backpacker hostel near their work since the shelters were unsuitable for him. Jasmiina supported a young Romanian guest to start work and he has now moved into a shared house. Jay also assisted a long-term guest from Romania to obtain his CCTV and Door Supervisor qualifications via BEAM and he is now ready to start looking for suitable work.
  • Wandsworth: Two guests have now been housed via private rented schemes.
  • Misc.: On top of these successes, the team is doing a huge amount of hard work on Universal Credit claims, EUSS applications, referrals to health services, frustrating attempts to open bank accounts, CV writing, applications for passports etc. In many cases, this hard work behind the scenes needs to be done before guests are ready to be helped into accommodation.

Other news:

  • Media coverage: We have spoken to several media outlets requesting specific guidance around coronavirus for those sleeping rough. Glass Door's position was featured in the Independent and The Big Issue among other titles. Read COO Lucy’s statement here and a summary of some of the resulting media coverage here. Sky News also aired an interview last night featuring an interview with Lucy about COVID-19.
  • Women’s Group afternoon tea: Chefs from the Royal Garden Hotel treated the  Women’s Group to a special afternoon tea last week in celebration of International Women’s Day. Check out the stunning pastries and the full story online.
  • An insight into volunteering: We recommend reading shelter volunteer Trevor Huggins blog post about his experience of volunteering with Glass Door. If you have a topic for a blog, please get in touch with Rachael in the communications team.
  • Fundraising superstar of the fortnight: The Worshipful Company of Framed Knitters secured a donation of 220 pairs of socks from Nick and George Turner of All Soc Ltd, which were distributed to guests of our partner drop-in at Chelsea Methodist Church. Long-term volunteers Rosie (left) and Amanda (front) are pictured with COO Lucy and fundraising officer Ian and Sheriffs of City of London for 2018/19, Liz Green and Alderman Vincent Keaveny.


Volunteers URGENTLY needed:

Due to restrictions in the number of guests allowed in one of our Wednesday night venues, we are splitting the circuit. If you or someone you know could help for the next three Wednesdays at Chelsea Methodist Church, we'd love to hear from you. Please ask potential volunteers to send an email to Caroline to register their interest.

Upcoming events

Please note these are subject to cancellation dependent on updates to public health guidance:
  • Community Thank You Evening on 7 May, 7pm: As of today, planning is still going forward. Please continue to save the date.
  • Broadgate Tower Run-up on 5 July: Our corporate partner Weil are covering the registration fees. Sign up online now.
  • Royal Parks Half Marathon on 11 October: Join Team Glass Door for the famous central London half-marathon to raise funds for Glass Door. The route takes in four of London’s royal parks as well as the capital’s world-famous landmarks. Book your place now.

Happy to help

If you need anything or have feedback, please do not hesitate to contact Megan. I'm of course also happy to help in any way I can. Thank you,
- Melissa for the Glass Door Team

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