Reaching Out This Christmas

Rhythms of Life Reaching Out to London's Homeless This Christmas

Rhythms of Life, a London charity dedicated to providing meals, clothes, toiletries, and sleeping bags to those on the street, is reaching out to the homeless on London’s streets this Christmas.
From Saturday 22nd December to 2nd of January 2019, the charity’s volunteers will be taking to the streets of London, offering a friendly face, hot meals, warm clothes, gifts and toiletries to anyone in need.

Andrew Faris, founder of Rhythms of Life, a former rough sleeper, knows only too well that Christmas can be a lonely and stressful time for people living on the streets. “We have been operating every day of the week for over 10 years, I know many of the guys personally,” says Andrew. “Our aim this Christmas is to reach out the people who are either too proud or unable to get help elsewhere.”

Although limited places in short-term shelters are available, a significant number of homeless people cannot cope with the social pressures of being crammed together with hundreds of others. Addictions can also exclude them from entry. This is why Rhythms of Life has decided to reach out to all those who otherwise fall through the net this Christmas.

Andrew explains, “Instead of expecting homeless people to come to us, our mission is to take our slice of festive cheer onto the streets of London. As well as providing food and material things, our volunteers will take the time to have a chat, discuss problems or share a joke. I know from my own experience, the most important thing of all is to show that somebody cares about you as an individual, rather than just another person in the queue.”

To help Rhythms of Life this Christmas, join the team as a volunteer by contacting volunteer@rhythmsoflife.org.uk. Alternatively, make a donation by texting RHYT24 £5 to 70070 or visiting our donation page.

Rhythms of Life 12 Days of Christmas

Rhythms of Life 12 Days of ChristmasAt Rhythms of Life of life, we are busy planning our annual 12 Days of Christmas Event. Running from 22nd December through to 2nd January, we welcome our homeless friends into a safe and warm environment for a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and Christmas dinner. We also offer a Snooze Room to relax in, movie nights with popcorn, and plenty of warm winter clothing, sleeping bags, and toiletries. During this chilly, and often lonely, holiday period, our annual event really does make all the difference to our homeless friends of London.

This year we celebrate our 10th year of helping London’s homeless and we would like to make this Christmas really special. To make this happen, we urgently need a Central London venue where we can hold our 12-day event. If you can offer us, or know of, any space which we can use over the Christmas period, please get in touch with us at volunteer@rhythmsoflife.org.uk. We are also looking volunteers to help with catering, entertainment, and welcoming our guests. If you can spare a few days over Christmas to help those less fortunate, please contact us at the above email address.

Since Rhythms of Life was founded in 2008, we have seen a drastic increase in the rise of homelessness in Central London, especially in the last 12 months. Recent government statistics state the number of rough sleepers in London has increased to 1,137, an 18% rise. However, as a grass roots charity, we are in contact with our homeless and vulnerable friends on a daily basis and believe that the true level of homelessness is much higher. The separate Chain database, which records rough sleepers in London seen by outreach workers, reported 8,108 rough sleepers in June. Meanwhile, the local authorities of the London borough of Camden posted a 647% increase in rough sleepers.

When there’s no safe place to sleep

When there’s no safe place to sleep, Jenny Holzer, 1984. This artwork currently on display as a part of a free Artist Rooms exhibition of Jenny Holzer’s work at the Tate Modern until 31 July 2019. It captures the essence of what it’s like to be homeless.

Government homeless strategy too optimistic

We have seen a drastic increase in the rise of homelessness in Central London over the past 10 years, especially in the last 12 months.

We have found that a contributory factor to this is the recent housing benefit restrictions on young people. If they are no longer able to claim housing benefit, then they are no longer able to pay their rent, which inevitably leads to homelessness. For numerous reasons they are notable to turn to family for help including domestic violence, abuse and family break ups amongst others.

We feel that the Government’s new homeless strategy is incredibly optimistic, although it is good to look to the future and plan ahead, we still need to tackle the problem now.

Homelessness is rising day by day, everyday we see our homeless friends deteriorating despite all the help we give. We alone can only do so much to help them survive. The problem is much bigger and without immediate government backing the rise in homelessness will only grow.

Also, with winter approaching the problems that our homeless friends face will only become greater. We need to find a solution sooner before it is too late.

Thank you for remembering Simon Day

Simon DaySimon Day

On behalf of all at Rhythms of life we would again like to thank Simon’s parents Andrew and Pauline Day for kindly asking for donations to our charity in his memory.
Furthermore, another thank you to the mourners who generously donated in his memory, raising in total a huge £640.00.

The financial donations we have received in memory of Simon will enable us to continue our essential work, providing food, clothing and toiletries to those who need it most, 365 days of the year in Old Street and Central London.
In addition, it will allow us to offer educational classes, to equip people with employable skills so they can find employment and turn their lives around.

Unfortunately Simon’s story is far too common. The number of homeless people in London continues to rise, resulting in more people coming to rely on our services.
However, our essential work cannot happen without these donations. This is why we are so very grateful to those who have donated in memory of Simon Day.

Invisible: a film by Arthur Cauty


Inspired by a conversation with a newly homeless man who described how he was set on fire in his sleep, before thanking Arthur Cauty and his girlfriend for taking the time to talk to him and listen to his story, rather than simply ignore him. The short film is a portrait of Bristol’s homeless; a voice for those we often pretend are invisible.