FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 6 December 2022
As freezing temperatures hit the UK, Take One Leave One returns for 5th winter
- “If you’re cold take one, if you can help leave one” clothes rails for all those facing winter hardship
- Launch event – Vauxhall subway, 1pm – 2pm, FRIDAY 9th December with bands, speakers & celebrity guests
“I love this idea” – Boy George joins other celebrities in endorsing TOLO
As temperatures plummet across the UK, an innovative initiative offering help to homeless people and those facing winter hardship, will launch for its fifth winter in a row
A simple way to help those in need, Take One Leave One rails enable communities to provide warm clothing to homeless people and anyone experiencing hardship in the winter months.
“The beauty of Take One Leave One is its simplicity. Anyone can set up a rail, anywhere, anytime and help homeless people and anyone facing hardship can stay warm this winter,” said Stefan Simanowitz, TOLO founder who began with just one rail outside his Farringdon office in 2018.
“All you need is a clothes rail, some clothes and a sign. Everyone is welcome to help themselves to a coat, a hat, or scarf and everyone is welcome come and drop off some warm clothes.”
Over the last five years, more than 150 Take One Leave One rails have sprung up in towns and cities across the UK and even crossed the Atlantic to America and Canada. Several rails – such as TOLO Brighton launched in 2021 with Pink Floyd guitarist Guy Pratt – run all year round.
Outside of winter, TOLO banners read “If you need, take one. If you can help leave one.”
“The cost-of-living crisis has meant that there is a need for TOLO rails all year round,” says Stefan Simanowitz who, in January, approached the heads of all the main UK charity shops with a simple proposal – that they put a rail of warm clothes for homeless people outside their shops this winter. This could ensure a Take One Leave One rail on every High Street. So far, no charity shops have agreed to the plan but it is hoped that the homelessness charities, Shelter, Crisis and the Salvation Army will get involved.
Friday’s launch event is happening at TOLO Vauxhaul, that has been running on once a week, all-year-round for the last two years, and also provides food and drinks for local homeless people.
“We have a great team of dedicated volunteers who want to make a difference to people’s lives, no matter how small. One of our volunteers met us when he was homeless and now has found accommodation and now helps us out every week,” said Hayley Ereola who helped set up and run the Take One Leave One Vauxhall rail in 2020 after seeing it on Twitter.
“Some people pick up clothes and pass by. Others stay for a couple of hours and have a snack, a cuppa and a chat. Many have no other conversation all week. It is an honour to support the many friends we have met yet so sad that services like this are so desperately needed, now more than ever.
Take One Leave One has the received the thumbs up from homelessness charities including Centrepoint, Shelter, Crisis and the Big Issue who have helped promote the project over a number of years.
TOLO has also received celebrity support with visits from actor Rob Delaney and Tweets from the likes of Gary Linekar, Emily Maitlis and band Massive Attack who helped set up and to promote Take One Leave One Bristol. “I love this idea. Please be kind” Boy George tweeted about TOLO recently.
“Take One Leave One is love in action. It is not a charity or an organisation. It is an idea,” said Stefan Simanowitz. “Whilst it is shameful that in one of the world’s wealthiest counties that rails like this are so necessary, but it is also heart-warming to see how much good there is out there.”
TWITTER – @Take1_Leave1
INSTAGRAM – @takeoneleaveone_
TOLO also has a new mascot this year in the shape of Farringdon Bear, a homeless stuffed Koala who was found on a train in Farringdon Station in 2021 and whose search for his owner went viral and hit the media.https://twitter.com/StefSimanowitz/status/1447161699824508929)
Details of where to find your local TOLO rail and being regularly updated on our websitehttps://takeoneleaveone.org/
To find your local rail or find people who might help set one up, use the hashtag #TOLO + the name of your town/city (e.g. #TOLOBrighton) on Twitter and on Instagram
Whilst Take One, Leave One may offer some respite for rough sleepers in the coming weeks, initiatives such as this can only have a small, short-term impact. What is needed is government action. In Finland, homelessness was eliminated through its “housing first” policy which offers people who need them permanent places to call home.
SET UP YOUR OWN RAIL
1. Get a clothes rail
2. Find good location (ideally sheltered from the rain)
3. Get the green light from locals
5. Collect warm clothes and hang them on the rail
6. Contact local media (we can provide a template press release)
7. Post on social media – Set up a Twitter / Instagram site using #TOLO plus the name of your city/town/village. You can also use this hashtag (e.g. #TOLOGuildford to see if there is already a rail near you OR to find local people who might be happy to help.