Kensington & ChelseaNews

Colin Firth narrates film for homeless charity appeal as demand for night shelters up 81%

A homeless charity that saw 500 people register for shelter within 10 days of opening its winter night scheme has released a new film, narrated by Colin Firth.

Homelessness Can Happen to Any of Us – narrated by the Oscar-winning actor – was created as part of Glass Door Homeless Charities’ winter appeal.

​Based in Argon Mews, Chelsea, Glass Door Homeless Charity is the UK’s largest provider of open-access emergency night shelters and has seen a sharp increase in demand for its front-line services this winter.

In the first ten days of opening its winter night shelters last month, more than 500 people registered for shelter, an 81 per cent increase compared to the same period last winter.

Nearly 90 per cent of those registering for a place to shelter said they had previously been sleeping rough, while the remainder were sleeping on buses, staying with friends and living in “precarious situations”.

Polly Moss, 25, from West Norwood, works as a volunteer coordinator at one of the Glass Door shelters in Chelsea.

She said: “It’s a woman’s only shelter and it really feels like a safe space to be in.

“The women we meet are always warm and friendly and it’s a mixed demographic – some stay longer than others, some only need to stay for one night.

“Compared to previous years there are more homeless people full stop.

“There’s also a raised awareness around the volumes of people becoming homeless and the fact it can really happen to anyone.”

Glass Door’s night shelters have been operating since November 6, in three boroughs – Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham and Wandsworth – and will run until the end of March 2024.

Polly Moss who works in a homeless shelter said (Picture: Polly Moss)

The shelters offer a safe place to sleep and a hot evening meal and breakfast for up to 105 guests each night.

Glass Door is appealing to raise funds to continue providing emergency winter night shelters as well as year-round advice and support for those experiencing homelessness.

Jo Carter, chief executive officer of Glass Door Homeless Charity said: “The number of people experiencing homelessness in London is more than alarming.

“The surge in applications to our winter shelters starkly highlights the multitude of challenges people face, from navigating complex bureaucratic systems to the sheer scarcity of safe, affordable housing.

“The fundamental human right to shelter is being compromised, and this is unacceptable.

The shelters offer a safe place to sleep, a hot evening meal and breakfast for up to 105 guests each night (Picture: James Hopkirk)

“At Glass Door, we don’t just see numbers, we see individuals – each with a unique story, struggles, and the right to a safe, dignified life.”

Guests can access Glass Door’s advice and support services in the shelters or during the daytime at partnership drop-in centres, including Chelsea Methodist Church, Ace of Clubs, HTB Day Shelter, the Vineyard Community Centre, St Cuthbert’s Centre and the Yard in Putney.

Mr Firth said: “I am pleased to support Glass Door Homeless Charity, and this film highlights the simple fact that homelessness can happen to anyone, and the reality is that someone you know might be facing homelessness.

“Having a roof over our heads is not a privilege it is a human right – we should all have a safe place to call home.”

​To make a donation visit Glass DoorWinter Appeal

Pictured top: Colin Firth has narrated the charities new film Homelessness Can Happen to Any of Us (Picture: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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One thought on “Colin Firth narrates film for homeless charity appeal as demand for night shelters up 81%

  • While I appreciate that there are many homeless people in London, there are also some where I live and many in our local towns. Here we may not have access to a celebrity to help raise funds so I will make a donation to a local night shelter.


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