Street Buddies win award

The Street Buddies projected, funded by Church Housing Trust, has won a prestigious award from London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The annual ceremony to recognise volunteers and volunteering projects that do great things for the capital took place on 6 November at City Hall.

Street Buddies won the Supporting and Inspiring accolade for their work and huge impact supporting and engaging with rough sleepers in Westminster.

Street Buddies Service Manager Louise Simonsen said: “The service is based on our Street Buddies volunteers going out several times a week and speaking to rough sleepers, all year round, in all weathers. Their dedication and commitment is invaluable to helping entrenched rough sleepers off the streets. They are an inspiration.

“I could not be prouder of my team and they are all so pleased with the recognition. This award win is for all our volunteers past and present who contributed to the work over the years.

“It was a very inspiring evening with so many amazing teams and individuals nominated, and it is a real boost to the volunteers to be commended for all their hard work.

“We couldn’t do without the support from Big Lottery and Church Housing Trust who help fund it.”

Street Buddies is led by volunteers with lived experience of homelessness and rough sleeping to help entrenched rough sleepers off the streets by sharing their own experience to inspire change and act as positive role models.

The outreach service was nominated by Church Housing Trust and Westminster Council’s Westminster Rough Sleeping Team.

Robert White, Commissioning Manager for Rough Sleeping at Westminster Council, said: “This award is absolutely deserved, and I’m delighted Street Buddies were recognised as the leading team in London – that’s amazing!

“The work of Street Buddies is absolutely instrumental in our strategy to reduce rough sleeping, and we could not be more impressed with the ability of the team to reach out and engage with individuals that have a deep mistrust of services and an extensive rough sleeping history.”