Back in 2019, before Leiho was even officially launched, we heard about this incredible festival for people who are experiencing homelessness and thought we had to go check it out. We attended with a big bag full of socks and toiletries to donate, not really knowing what to expect. But when we arrived, we were welcomed by the wonderful team at StreetsKitchen, a grassroots organisation supporting those who are currently or at risk of becoming homeless, who introduced us to all the work they are doing to help people who are going through a difficult time in their life due to the lack of support around them. StreetsKitchen as a team are mainly based around North London and organise daily outreaches providing food and clothing around Hackney, Camden and Haringey.
Every year in September, StreetsKitchen works together with the Haringey and Islington Council to organise their famous StreetsFest in Finsbury Park, offering a wide range of support services for people experiencing homelessness or those who are vulnerably housed. The services include employment support, healthcare advice and consultations, education training, drug & alcohol advice, housing advice, services for women and the LGBTQ community, as well as food, music, haircuts, manicures and more. In September 2022, the Leiho team was invited to return to the annual festival to host a donations stall!
With much excitement, we brought our big “Sock Toss” board for people attending the festival to toss a pair of socks in our bag to win a tote bag full of freebies! The freebies included essential items like socks, underwear, toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, wet wipes and women’s clothing items like tops, bottoms and scarves.
In total we donated over 230 items of essentials at StreetsFest and were able to celebrate together with the people that we supported on the day. Another great part of our day was also to get to know the other organisations providing support within the homelessness community and connect with them in hopes to collaborate together in the near future!
Check out StreetsKitchen and the work they are doing to support local vulnerable communities here.