Support group provides practical help for Newham’s homeless at Christmas
PUBLISHED: 14:25 29 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:34 29 December 2016
A support group for homeless people has spread festive cheer by providing rough sleepers with food, clothing and accommodation.
During the past month, Lola’s Homeless has secured beds in a hotel to offer 12 people a respite from living on the streets and held a pamper party for Newham’s homeless at which visitors received sleeping bags and clothing, plus cakes and hand massages.
The group, which is run by volunteer Lorraine Anne with support from others, also helped to arrange a fundraising tombola with the WI Forest Gate and organised a leaflet drop on Christmas Eve advertising homeless charity Crisis’ support services.
Lorraine said: “We literally bombarded the whole of Stratford shopping Centre with a thousand leaflets.
“We also took people to be picked up [to be taken to Crisis] at 11am in the morning.”
Lorraine founded the group with Jasmine Laura Rosso last year after encountering and befriending a homeless woman in Stratford, who has since died.
She has held a variety of events throughout the last year and created a Facebook group to spread the message of support. It now has more than 2,200 likes.
We shouldn’t have to be doing this but we are and we are growing,“ Canning Town resident Lorraine said.
A recent event attended by some homeless people included a wishing well for people to write down their hopes for the future.
“They did not ask for what we ask for,” said Lorraine. “One asked for a mum and dad, another person asked for Lola’s to put on a party every week.”
She added that although some of the people she encounters are on drink and drugs, it’s not the case for everyone.
“There are a lot of people who just do not know where to go. You wouldn’t believe stories I hear day to day,” she said.
Lorraine, who is also job-hunting herself, says the group is “struggling financially”.
She has appealed for more donations and is looking for a van and more storage for future fundraising projects
To find out more or to help, visit the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/LolasHomeless/
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