THIS IS CHAT AND CHOCOLATE - a social meetup with a BIG difference!
How does it work? Simple: We meet at 6.30 pm on the steps of St Maritn in the Fields at Trafalgar Square. From there, we split into groups of about 4 people, each group covering a (loosely) pre-defined route around an area of central London, stopping to offer a cup of tea and a chat to any homeless people we meet on our travels. After about 90 minutes we'll meet up again at a nearby pub to share experiences and maybe a drink or 3...
Why do we do it and what do we hope to achieve? Pavement People is not a traditional 'outreach' group in that we don't attempt to connect people with social / housing services (although we do pass on contact details to those who ask for them). We don't receive any funding and we're not affiliated with any religious or political organisations. Our aim is simply to provide a bit of respite from the social isolation of homelessness, by sharing a chat and a bar of chocolate along with a cup of tea or coffee.
***NEW MEMBERS ARE PARTICULARLY WELCOME***
It's my first time. What should I bring? Welcome to Pavement People! You don't have to bring anything at all (not even chocolate) - just come along with an open mind and a willingness to chat to the people we meet. But if you'd like to help out materially, dark-coloured clothing (easier to keep clean) - socks and boxers are particularly appreciated; basic toiletries such as shower gel & deodorant go down well too - and wholesome food such as sandwiches, pasties, pies, fruit etc are always appreciated. BUT: the conversation is MUCH more important than the stuff.
It's my first time. Are you friendly? We're lovely! Just mention when you sign up - and when you turn up at the meeting point - that you're new, and we'll give you a lovely warm welcome and make sure you get introduced to some of our friendliest and most experienced members who will be more than happy to show you the ropes. We know a lot of the street people in London very well and they are always very friendly and welcoming to new members of our group - so prepare to be appreciated...
What happens after the wandering? We go to the pub! We'll meet at around 8.30 in a nearby pub to socialise and share experiences.
***The official 'Chat and Chocolate' pub is The Clarence (http://www.geronimo-inns.co.uk/theclarence/) 53 Whitehall London SW1A 2HP***
Got any questions? Why not call one of our 'regulars' who will be happy to answer any of your questions...
See you on Tuesday!!!