In Tilly's own words - the founder of the incredible life line The Little Things
"It's the little things in life we take for granted and the little things that can make all the difference - hence the name, The Little Things."
The Little Things UK held our first ever outreach on Wednesday 31st October 2018, I was wearing leopard print leggings and matching ears. We had 4 service users, 3 of who still come to us regularly 4 years later.
We've provided the unbelievable number of people in London that are living on the streets or in poverty, with hot home cooked meals, hot drinks, sleeping bags, clothes, toiletries, haircuts, drug and alcohol recovery support and most importantly a safe environment where they don't feel so alone in such a big city.
Just before the Coronavirus Pandemic our average number of service users was around 40. It was a very chilled atmosphere, lots of chit chat with service users coming as they please, helping themselves to biscuits.
When the country went into Lockdown we decided that we'd carry on holding our outreach. Without getting into politics, the people that needed help the most were thought of last.
I remember that first Wednesday after "Lockdown", one of our regular service users said to me -
"you came for us, no one would've blamed you if you didn't, but you came" - I nearly burst into tears, but instead just gave him a shepherds pie.
We altered the way we ran the outreach, asking services users to queue, providing extra food and goody bag and holding additional outreaches on Saturdays and Mondays.
We were told that during the pandemic only 30 organisations continued their outreaches in London, we were one of those 30. We saw the number of service user soar from 40 to around 160.
Over our four years we've been very lucky to build partnerships with Selfridges, Shoreditch Fire Station, Paul the Veg Man, Verry Kerry, Edmonton Rotary and charities including Hand on Heart and Toiletries for the Streets.
We have a team of volunteers that cook on a six week rotation, we're very proud that we're renowned for our good quality food and that we provide a choice of dishes. We also have volunteers that are hands on every Wednesday at the outreach, this includes former service users and teenagers that have come from care and war torn countries.
We've put people up in hotels over Christmas, helped two people gain employment, made untold solid friendships and sadly lost three of our service users and paid for one service user to have his dog put to sleep.
We've held multiple successful fundraisers, we've rented a lock up,
purchased a van, and on 31st March 2022 we became a registered charity!!
When I sit back and reflect on everything we've achieved over the last four years, I'll be honest, it blows me away. Our team our dedicated, compassionate, non judgemental and I know we make a difference to the people that have been neglected and need a bit of extra love and support - we're a 'consistent' for people that face alot of uncertainty in their lives.
People often ask what the drive behind The Little Things is and why we started it. For me it's very simple - why wouldn't we help the people that need it the most? People face hardships in life, and it's the right thing to do to give them a helping hand.
When I was thinking of the logo for The Little Things, I was adamant I wanted a lotus flower, because of what it represents in some religions. It signifies strength and purity and that beauty can rise from murky waters. I see our outreach as the lotus flower in dingy old London. I choose the purple in remembrance of my Nan, she always put others before herself and was everything a good human should be.
- Tilly - Founder of the Little things