News and Updates

Dear <<First Name>>:

Shelter season is in full swing and we are feeling festive as we launch our Christmas Appeal. Below please find a list of updates that we encourage you to share with your volunteer team. (If you would like to include messages in future postings, please do let us know.) 

Volunteer Registration
We think that a lot of volunteers are not registered, as our numbers are lower than this time last year. Please remind all of your volunteers to register either via the paper form or at The only exception to this is if you’ve returned a volunteer spreadsheet to us on, in which case only your new volunteers need to register. We will send out an email next week to volunteers from circuits that haven't supplied a spreadsheet and who haven’t re-registered, asking them to click a link to register if they are volunteering again this winter, so this should help prompt people to register.
Room for extra Christmas volunteers?
Are any of your regular volunteers going away over the Christmas period? Could you make room for some extra pairs of hands? We are in the fortunate position of being inundated with requests from lovely people who would like to volunteer over the Christmas period. We’d love to be able to incorporate as many of them as possible on the rotas, so please don’t be shy in asking for extra helpers. We’ve got plenty and this can be a really useful way for us to involve some of our corporate partners and other supporters. If you have space, email Megan with how many one-off volunteers you could accommodate at your shelter and on which dates. Please also confirm your permission for your email address to be passed onto the new volunteer teams so that you can liaise with them directly.
If someone asks you how they can donate items this Christmas, you can:
  1. Ask them to donate instant coffee and instant hot chocolate which we really need right now. We accept these items and biscuits directly to our office – due to storage and distribution challenges, these are the only items we would like to centrally receive.
  2. Arrange for them to deliver items directly to your shelter to be distributed that evening, if your Shelter Manager agrees this is okay and if you can ensure fair and equal amounts for all guests. In terms of what to put in goodie bags, we ask for no perishable items please. 
  3. Ask them to donate items directly to one of our partner drop-ins. We keep this page updated with items that would be helpful:
Food safety
Many of our shelter teams try to provide a friendly welcome by asking guests about their dietary requirements and any food allergies. For newer shelter teams, there are a few tips that might help when doing this. Ask each guest about their dietary requirements or allergies when they arrive and write this on their name label before giving it to them. Or explain the menu and what is and isn’t suitable to specific guests with dietary requirements or allergies.
However, we always emphasise that we do not guarantee food is free from allergens and your Shelter Manager should provide a sign which makes guests aware of this. Ultimately the responsibility for checking what is known to be in food and drinks lies with the guests themselves.
Glass Door Aprons and Tea Towels
You should all have received your supply of Glass Door aprons and tea towels to help improve food hygiene, but let us know if not. We love seeing snaps of your teams wearing the aprons on social media so please do encourage your teams to follow @glassdoorlondon on social media and post your great team photos online (generally best done before guest arrive as you should not take any photos of guests without their consent).
Food Safety Training

We still have a couple of spaces for free online food safety training, limited to one person per shelter, so let Megan know if you would like one. The course takes 2 hours, online at a time of your choosing, with a test at the end and you will be awarded a Level 2 Food Safety certificate.

Waitrose in Putney
Waitrose in Putney is supporting Glass Door this month with all funds raised going towards providing guests at St Mary's with fresh fruit on a Monday night. If you are based in the area then do encourage your community to support.

Our #OpenADoor Christmas Campaign
Our Christmas Appeal launched last week and is fronted by former guest James. The theme is around opening doors for people affected by homelessness at Christmas time. Visit the appeal page here. In light of this, we are asking all friends of Glass Door to get involved in our Instagram competition. Take a picture with a beautiful Christmas door, tell us why you are thinking about those on the other side of your door, tag #openadoor #glassdoorchristmas and look out for your post on our Instagram page. Encourage your volunteer team to get involved; perhaps take a photo in front of your shelter door? Check out Instagram for details
Geoff, Steve and Will getting into the Christmas spirit with wreaths made in our weekly Women's Group.

Fortnightly updates

Please remember to always keep our guests’ identities confidential. You should never share names or other details of guests that would enable them to be identified.

2 December 2019 

Shelter update:

All shelters are operating at full capacity, with a week-long waiting list for spaces for males.

Casework updates:

  • We continue to receive at-risk guests, including our third pregnant woman of the season. One heavily pregnant woman has now given birth and our caseworker, Alex, continues to work with her. We have also worked with a very vulnerable female guest alongside Kensington & Chelsea's homeless mental health team and believe she has now returned to her country of origin.
  • We have met with more housing success in Richmond and Wandsworth: a male guest has moved into private rental accommodation and a couple were able to move into two adjacent studio flats. A further guest has signed a tenancy agreement and is in the process of moving into private rented accommodation. 
  • A guest from the Hammersmith & Fulham circuit has been supported to move into a refugee hosting situation whilst we continue to work with him on more long-term options.
  • When it comes to employment, one of our shelter guests from last year has been supported by employment coordinator, Jay, to start a job in security. Another guest has started to work full-time as a cleaner and we are exploring ways to support him with accommodation. We have also helped a guest from this season who started work as a chef and was finishing at midnight to stay in a hostel until his first pay check.
  • We found out this week that the Casework team has been successfully re-awarded the Advice Quality Standard, a quality mark that shows our excellence in providing the public with free and independent advice.

Other news: 

  • Our Christmas Appeal: this launched last week and is fronted by former guest James. The theme is around opening doors for people affected by homelessness at Christmas time. Visit the appeal page here to hear James’ story.
  • #OpenADoor on Instagram: In light of our Christmas Appeal, we are asking all friends of Glass Door to get involved in our Instagram competition. Take a picture with a beautiful Christmas door, tell us why you are thinking about those on the other side of your door, tag #openadoor #glassdoorchristmas and look out for your post on our Instagram page. Check out Instagram for details
  • London Homeless Collective: We announced that we are proud to be part of the collective of 23 homeless charities in London, launched in partnership with the Evening Standard. On 21 November this made the front page of the paper. Read full story online.

Upcoming Events:

  • Thu 5 Dec – Carol Concert at St Mary the Boltons, Kensington: organised by Susan Metcalfe Residential: The ideal way to welcome in the festive season, with Christmas carols followed by a glass of wine and mince pies. Find more details online.
  • Fri 6 Dec – An evening of poetry and songs with Tony Maude: St Mary’s Church, Putney: Singer-songwriterTony Maude is known for combining stories from literature with guitar music. He will be hosting this atmospheric event of music and poetry. For more details please click here.
  • Tue 10 Dec – Carols on the Green organised by the Chelsea Green branch of John D Wood: Chelsea Green, Cale Street: Now in its 32nd year, the carol concert will see a brass band and choir from St Luke’s Church (Sydney Street) providing the soundtrack to festivities. For more details please click here.
  • Throughout Dec – Church of Latter Day Saints ‘Light the World’ Giving Machines: Exhibition Road, South Kensington: ‘Vending machines’ will be set up where passers-by can ‘purchase’ items with donations going to Glass Door and four other charities. If you’re passing through, check them out.
  • First Thursday and Third Friday of every month – Charity Book Sale: Moravian Church, Chelsea: Glass Door has recently been selected as joint beneficiary of a long-standing second hand book sale in the local community. Runs from 11-3pm every other Thursday and is well signposted from the Kings Road.
download fortnightly update

Volunteer coordinator portal

Find forms, updates, contact information and more. 
go to Volunteer Coordinator portal

Happy to help

If you need anything, please do not hesitate to ask.
Call during office hours: 020 7351 4948, email Megan or another member of the team if you need anything.
- Rachael for the Glass Door Team. 

Copyright © 2019 Glass Door Homeless Charity, All rights reserved.

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