We’re continuing to open every Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 to 14:30. Currently, we’re averaging 37 service users per day, a figure that’s steadily rising month-on-month.

In July, we welcomed 12 new people into the Drop-in, many of whom are currently rough sleeping, or in need of urgent housing and benefit advice due to the precarious nature of their housing situation. 

Inevitably, the warmer summer months have increased the demand for our shower and laundry services – in July we offered 123 showers and 71 loads of laundry, all provided by our wonderful volunteers. And our kitchen volunteers are continuing to cook delicious two-course lunches for our service users, all the while providing endless cups of tea, coffee and soup throughout the day.   

Our dedicated staff members are also working very hard to support many of our service users to progress or resolve a range of individual issues, typically around housing/homelessness, immigration, health, finance, and employment.   

Lina’s story   

On 3 August, a Ukrainian refugee arrived at the Drop-in, having overnight lost her local accommodation, with her host family having decided to move abroad for work purposes.  

Lina (her name has been changed to protect her identity) was extremely upset, and clearly needed immediate support. She had been very proactive in her search for support, and had already visited Merton Council and drafted a list of potential services to contact.   

Two of our Drop-in team sprang into action, and within a few hours had not only found Lina overnight hostel accommodation at FiA’s expense, but also a property viewing with one of our ‘Universal Credit Landlords’ (who are happy to take tenants in receipt of benefits, as they will be eligible to claim housing benefit). With Lina having been resident in Ukraine immediately before 1 January 2022 and fleeing the Russian invasion, she was eligible to apply for Universal Credit from the day she arrived in the UK. 

We’re delighted to say that, 24 hours later, Lina moved into her new accommodation in Raynes Park. She has continued to visit the Drop-in since her re – housing, and the team plan to support her to search for other local services, to establish a support network for her to achieve a more stable life in the UK. 

We need your help!   

Financial support:   
Many of the Drop-in’s costs have risen in recent months, and inflation is expected to place further pressure on our financial position in the coming months. We, of course, understand that cost-of-living increases are affecting all of us but if you can spare some money, however small, we would be enormously grateful if you were to consider a donation to Faith in Action.  

You can find out more on our JustGiving page – justgiving.com/faithinaction  

Clothing and food donations:
Although we’ve been fortunate to have received some donations of clothing recently, we still need men’s t-shirts and trousers. We’re also in need of thin pairs of socks, and new men’s underwear. We’ve also been running very low on ring-pull cans of meat and fish to give out to our rough sleepers, as well as tins of chopped tomatoes, used in the kitchen to prepare lunches.   

You can drop off donations of food and clothing at the Drop-in every Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 2.30pm. Or we can arrange local collection – email us at team@mertonfaithinaction.org or phone 07843 280419.