A recipient of warm clothing at a TOLO rail

Ahead of launch on 8 December 2023 – No embargo

  • Launch event – Vauxhall subway, 1pm – 2pm, Friday 8 December 
Boy George 

As temperatures plummet across the UK, an innovative initiative offering help to homeless people and those facing winter hardship, will launch on Friday for its sixth winter in a row.

A simple way to help those in need, Take One Leave One rails enable communities across Britain to provide warm clothing to homeless people, rough sleepers and anyone experiencing hardship in the winter months. 

Organisers send out free banners which reads If you need, take one. If you can help leave oneto anyone who wants to set up a rail. The rail is filled and replenished with warm clothes by people living or working in the neighbourhood.

Take One Leave One Rails

“This is a wonderful initiative,” said Baroness Jenny Jones speaking at last year’s TOLO launch. “You bring your surplus clothes down to the rail and anyone who is cold can help themselves to them.”

“The beauty of Take One Leave One is its simplicity. Anyone can set up a rail, anywhere, anytime and help those facing hardship stay warm this winter,” said Stefan Simanowitz, who set up the first TOLO rail outside a London church in 2018 and has seen more than 150 rails spring up around the UK and even spread to the US and Canada.

It is anticipated that dozens of TOLO rails will spring up this winter and some are already in action. The Take One Leave One winter coat rail has been outside London’s Wesley’s Chapel since November and – due to the cost-of-living crisis – some Take One Leave One rails – such TOLO Brighton – run all year round. 

Friday’s launch event is happening in the underpass by Vauxhaul station, where a Take One Leave One rail has been running once a week since 2020. The Vauxhall rail has around 25-30 regular service users and many other drop ins and has now been formalised as part of a project of the charity, Lighthouse Education Service in Vauxhall.

“Our Friday rail has been so successful that we are opening up an indoor community space on Mondays for our service users to hang out and chat with coffee and cake in a warm space.”

Hayley Ereola, Lighthouse

“Every week we meet so many people in need and a priority for us is to be available to listen, chat, and laugh with people who have no one else they can talk to. If receiving a coat, cuppa or a smile can make a difference to someone’s day, then we count it a blessing to serve our community,” said Hayley Ereola who works with Lighthouse and who has helped set up TOLO Vauxhall.

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 the number of years. 

ake One Leave One stalls

TOLO has also received celebrity support with visits from Baroness Jenny Jones, music legend Guy Pratt, comedian Simon Fanshaw, 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 in 2021.

“Take One Leave One is not a charity or an organisation – it is an idea and one that anyone can adopt. Whilst it is shameful that giving out warm clothes should be necessary in one of the world’s wealthiest counties, it is also heart-warming to see how much kindess there is out there”

Stefan Simanowitz.

For more information email: – 07799650791 / stefanowitz2@hotmail.com


Lighthouse – www.l-e-s.org/lighthouse-hand-out

Wesley’s Chapel, City Road, London www.wesleyschapel.org.uk

TWITTER – @Take1_Leave1 

INSTAGRAM – @takeoneleaveone_ 

Read the story behind TOLO’s mascot, Farringdon Bear, https://twitter.com/StefSimanowitz/status/1447161699824508929)

To order a banner contact mail@adlephigraphics.com

BIG ISSUE https://www.bigissue.com/latest/this-community-take-one-leave-one-initiative-is-fighting-the-cold-snap/

VOA – Video https://www.voanews.com/europe/mexican-idea-help-homeless-goes-global-take-one-leave-one


In early 2023, TOLO organisers 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 and it is hoped that charities – particularly homelessness charities, Shelter, Crisis and the Salvation Army – will get involved.

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.

1. Get a clothes rail  

2. Find good location (ideally sheltered from the rain) 

3. Get the green light from locals 

4. Make a sign or order a banner for £30 + p&p from mail@adlephigraphics.com or contact takeoneleaveuk@gmail.comfor a free starter pack

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. #TOLOBrighton to see if there is already a rail near you OR to find local people who might be happy to help. 

TOLO stall and clothes