Set up with the intention that no one should have to spend a night on the streets, Together in Barnet (TiB), are providing a much-needed welcoming space for Londoners away from the outdoors. The charity was founded in 2003, in response to the death of a homeless man on the streets of Barnet.
On the 26th of March, people from all over Barnet came together to raise funds for the charity whilst spreading awareness about the ever-increasing needs of those experiencing homelessness. Now in its third year, TiB working in close partnership with the day centre Homeless Action in Barnet (HAB), were excited to add a range of different sleepout options. From outdoor groups and homes to workplaces and schools, people were free to take part regardless of where they were.
Lisa Bard, Trustee of TiB shares her account of the night:
“It was a strangely warm night in March when people from many communities in Barnet came together to sleep under the stars in a car park in Edgware so they could raise much needed funds for Together in Barnet (TiB) and Homeless Action Barnet (HAB).
We congregated upstairs to enjoy a communal supper prepared by Marian Cohen, trustee of HAB, and live music from an old school singer as well as hear from the chairs of both charities – Darren Haringman of TiB and John Bier of HAB. After dinner, the sleep outers swapped stories of their involvement with each charity and slowly drifted downstairs to bed down for the night.
I brought some cardboard and cushions from my garden chairs to put under my sleeping bag. I was one of the last to settle down. It was quite warm at the start of the night but I was so excited I could only doze for a couple of hours. I counted myself lucky that I was able to get up and get a hot drink upstairs before returning to my sleeping quarters, the people we support don’t have that luxury on the streets. During the night it became very windy and the temperature dropped significantly about 4am. I was so tired at this point that I slept soundly and had to be waken at 7.30 in the morning when many people had already had the delicious breakfast provided. A very satisfying night out on the tiles of the car park raising awareness and much needed funds for the only charities in Barnet supporting our increasing population of people experiencing homelessness.”
At the moment, we’re yet to hear from TiB regarding the total amount fundraised as brilliantly, some groups are still organising and participating in sleepouts!
The Winter Hotel Project
What’s more, is that TiB have come to the end of their 2021/2022 Winter Night Shelter. This is TiB’s second round of the COVID-safe Winter Night Shelter hosted in a hotel after their community-based shelters were forced to close due to the pandemic.
TiB’s first hotel project ran from the 25th of January to the 4th of June 2021 and the second ran from 18th of October 2021 – March 31st 2022. Altogether, the charity supported 52 people with emergency accommodation for a total of 194 nights.
Of those 52 people, 48 people engaged with support and moved on into alternative longer-term accommodation after being hosted in the hotel. People went onto accommodation including council and housing association housing, supported housing and the private renting sector.
To support TiB’s incredible work, donate, sign up for their newsletter, spread the word via social media and volunteer here.
For a closer look at TiB, click here.