A group of sixth-formers are working to set up a new charity in London after spending a day out on the streets helping the homeless.
Kieran Dhrona, Humzah Hameed and Kabishan Sivarasan, along with a non-QE friend, planned the event in which around a dozen of their friends from QE and a further 25 from other schools, spent a Saturday handing out essential provisions to homeless people in the heart of the West End.
The group, all in Year 12, gathered packs of water, non-perishable foods, clothes and toiletries from friends and families which they then distributed to those they encountered living on the street. On the day, 85 packs were given out and the volunteers engaged with more than 100 people. In certain cases, where additional needs were observed, they took other steps, such as bringing hot food.
Headmaster Neil Enright said “I sincerely commend the boys for taking the initiative and giving up their own time to organise and participate in this charitable event. It sets a fine example to their peers whilst embodying the QE spirit of service unto others.”
Throughout the day the boys had conversations with people living on the streets from Soho through Leicester Square and Embankment down to Southwark. They gently asked the homeless people they encountered how they came to be in their current position and made sure they were aware of the work of Centrepoint. Centrepoint is a leading homelessness charity which provided a room for the volunteers to use as a base for the day.
Kieran, Humzah and Kabishan are working to set up a new charity called youthconnectionlondon which will focus on helping the homeless in the capital. “The more we grow, the more people we can help,” said Kieran. They are also exploring whether they can work further with Centrepoint, looking for a base from which they could prepare hot food.
Kieran had previous experience of similar charitable activities with his family when younger. “I was touched by it and so thought I’d use my initiative to start this project. We all live in a wealthy city and have grown up in comfort, and often don’t see how others live – yet you have wealth and poverty in such proximity. We are the future generation and it is really important that we make a contribution as early as possible to keep this vital work going.”
They are establishing a social media presence and working on a website to draw in further volunteers.
“I wish them every success as they attempt to establish this charity and help more people as they progress,” said Mr Enright.