Volunteers have collected hundreds of sleeping bags and packs of toiletries to support homeless people this winter.
Layla Roche and her friend Nina McNeill put out an appeal in Hammersmith and Fulham which resulted in people donating sleeping bags, hats and gloves.
The volunteers will also give out toiletry kits and PPE, including face coverings, gloves and hand sanitisers, as well as packs of food and pet food.
In previous years they have also given out 30 to 40 survival kits around Victoria Station and more at Earl’s Court.
Ms Roche, who has been unable to do her job selling her crafts at Portobello Market because of an underlying health condition and the pandemic, said: “We started doing this about five years ago when we came across people walking around.
“It’s literally just the public wanting to help.”
She said the pandemic meant it’s harder for people to find somewhere like a day centre to shelter inside.
“I find it cold and freezing but I can come home and get a hot meal. It’s so much worse on the streets.”
Since the pandemic began, the local council found emergency accommodation for 332 homeless people, including 63 with no recourse to public funds. It was given £473,819 as part of the Government’s Next Steps support for the homeless.
New scheme to prevent homelessness in Plymouth gets £1.25m
Local Democracy Reporting Service
Plymouth is getting more than £1.25m to help people avoid homelessness.
The city council says money from the government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme will pay for move-on places and longer-term homes for people in temporary housing.
The latest funding follows the government’s "Everyone In" programme to provide shelter during the pandemic.
Plymouth City Council worked with the Plymouth Alliance to find places for more than 200 people at risk of homelessness, and provide extra accommodation for rough-sleepers.
The Next Steps funding will support work by the Alliance, Bournemouth Churches Housing Association and Plymouth Community Homes, to set up 10 longer term self-contained units and 10 one-bedroom properties.
The announcement of extra cash received a cross-party welcome in Plymouth, although the ruling Labour Party warned it was not enough to meet all the demands of helping vulnerable people into secure homes.
The city council’s Conservative opposition group leader, Nick Kelly, said: “This Conservative government, working closely with local authorities, has shown throughout the pandemic that it is willing to take the swift, decisive action necessary to keep some of the most vulnerable people in our community safe."
Manna house, the Kendal charity that helps people who are homeless or at risk of becoming so, says it is able to stay open through the lockdown.
Manna HouseCopyright: Manna House
The organisation provides drop-in sessions, meals and advice for people who are struggling to run their lives and Andrea Alridge from the charity said it has taken all the necessary precautions such as washing hands and social distancing.
Quote Message: We are relieved to be able to continue to stay open under new guidelines for essential services." from Andrea Alridge
We are relieved to be able to continue to stay open under new guidelines for essential services."