December may be the month of Christmas, but for many – particularly those who are forced to sleep on the street – it’s one of the toughest times of the year. Short days and freezing conditions only compound these issues of homelessness all year round, not to mention the added factor of a pandemic in the last two years.
When two London students found that 11,000 Londoners were expected to spend this Christmas period sleeping rough (Big Issue, June 2021), they decided to form a group of students to raise money for homelessness in the city.
Patrick Saving and Patrick Claxton, both 20 and members of the London School of Economics Athletics Union (LSEAU), assembled two groups of students to walk between 110 different London tube stations (55 each from the two groups). In total, this completed a radius of 35 miles on December 6 – more than a marathon!
They joined forces with Raising and Giving to raise money for national homeless charities Crisis and St. Mungo’s, which help give those experiencing homelessness receive hot meals and safe place to stay over the Christmas period.
Patrick Saving said: “Homelessness in London is something that everyone who lives here sees every day and with winter about to hit, we were reallykeen to raise money to try to help get some individuals off the street.
“The work that Crisis do at Christmas particularly drew us to the charity as we think it is a great initiative that has a very emotive story behind it, yet still provides a training aspect that ensures it has the necessary long-term effects too.”
Richard Lee, Fundraising Director at Crisis said: “We are so grateful to both Patricks and the members of LSEAU for their extraordinary efforts. We rely on wonderful fundraisers like them to be able to support people who have been forced onto the streets, into sofa surfing, or into a hostel with nowhere to call home and no-one to be with.
“With the support of LSEAU, we can give more people a Crisis Christmas and help them leave homelessness behind for good.”
So far, the pair of students have already raised £1521 of a £2906 target, which is to be split between Crisis and St Mungo’s. Let’s help them reach their target before Christmas, shall we?