Discover Streetlink

Discover Streetlink

At Leila & Geoffrey we support a range of artists, charities and creative businesses. We especially like to advocate social enterprises that make an impact. 

The British weather is well known for being capricious. In just a few months the UK has experienced ‘The Beast from the East’ – a cold wave that brought heavy snowfall and arctic temperatures, ‘Storm Emma’, with fierce winds that caused landfall and a mini heatwave with temperatures soaring to 26C.

For most of us, the variable weather provides a chance to get outside and savour the warmth or, at worst, an inconvenience that disrupts our normal routine for a day or two or encourages us to travel more carefully. 

For others, it can be deadly. 

Regardless of the weather, even if unbearably hot or dangerously cold, rough sleepers risk their lives trying to get through the day or last the night. The unpredictable weather can make night times particularly difficult and even hazardous when it’s cold. 

For city dwellers in particular, seeing a rough sleeper can be, sadly, an every day occurrence and it’s natural to offer food or money, both of which may be appreciated. However, it can be difficult to know the best course of action, especially when many people who are begging are not sleeping rough and equally, not all people who sleep rough, beg. In the longer term, giving money to people who are begging may aid harmful or destructive behaviours.

That’s where StreetLink can help. Operated in partnership between Homeless Link and St Mungo’s and funded by local government grants, StreetLink is an initiative operating across England and Wales that exists to help end rough sleeping. Its website, mobile app and phone line enables members of the public to connect people sleeping rough with the local services that can support them. 

If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, you can be ‘the eyes’ of local services and use StreetLink’s website, mobile app or phone line to send an alert.  

Callers are asked to provide the following information which is sent to the local authority or outreach team concerned:

  • The location of the rough sleeping site – using a map to pinpoint the exact location and providing a written description of the location as people tend to sleep in quieter locations rather than exposed ones. 
  • The time the rough sleeper has been seen at the location – rough sleepers usually sleep at night but if someone is seen during the day they can be signposted to daytime services.
  • The activity – whether someone is sleeping, begging or being engaged in street activity. 
  • Description of the rough sleeper – such as their gender, approximate age, what they look like and what they are wearing.

People from Streetlink’s trained outreach team, commissioned by the local council to provide a service in the area, will then try to look for a rough sleeper they have been alerted to. On average this is a maximum of three times over a ten working day period.

When a member of the public sends an alert, they receive details of the action the local authority normally takes when informed someone is sleeping rough in their area and an update on the outcome of the alert within 10 working days (if you requested).

With a initiative like this, an alert could lead to a person sleeping rough receiving support, taking into account each different situation. The services team will normally first undertake an assessment and then work with the individual to find agreeable solutions to try to end their rough sleeping, such as temporary accommodation. 

Anyone can become homeless, and sleeping rough is not only dangerous but can also have a long-term effect on an individual’s health. One small action taken by you today could have important consequences, so if you see a person sleeping rough, maybe this time don’t walk on, look down at your phone or simply give them a sympathetic smile. There’s a way to help.

Nobody should be sleeping outside, whatever the weather.

WEBSITE: streetlink.org.uk.

PHONE LINE: 0300 500 0914

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicola Greenbrook

Nicola Greenbrook

Nicola is a freelance music, fashion and lifestyle writer based in East London and has her own website, Material Whirl.

 

Gurls Talk

Gurls Talk

At Leila & Geoffrey we support artists, charities and creative businesses and love to champion social enterprises that really make an impact. 

With only a few weeks of 2018 underway, mental health issues continue to dominate the headlines. According to figures from NHS Digital, one in ten teenage girls is being referred for specialist mental health services and an alarming rise in self-harm is reported, with a 68% increase in cases since 2011 amongst teenage girls. 

These make for concerning statistics, but thankfully coincide with heightened awareness of mental health issues, positive aims to reduce the stigma surrounding it and high-profile figures openly discussing matters that affect so many people.

Like award-winning Ghanian-English supermodel and activist, Adwoa Aboah. The Vogue cover star and winner of the 2017 Fashion Awards’ Model of the Year accolade has been searingly open about her battles with depression and addiction. An activist for mental health issues, she has spoken about the attempt to take her own life in 2015 and participated in a moving and courageous interview with her mother, Camilla Lowther, for the Heads Together campaign.

With her own journey through mental health issues, Adwoa created Gurls Talk, an online platform to educate and inform women across the UK and provide a safe space for them. Gurls Talk is a community and movement that encourages young girls and women to talk, without judgement or stigma, on a subject that is troubling them or that they need more information about. Topics include, but are not limited to, addiction, sexuality, body image and racial diversity and young women are encouraged to tell their story or share a poem or illustration for submission on the platform.

Gurls Talk began in 2015 as an Instagram account where women were encouraged to share their stories and has since grown into a community of over 139k and events including day-long empowerment festivals with talks by Adwoa, relationship experts and psychologists. The platform tackles subjects ranging from anxiety, sexual misconduct and negative thoughts and signposts its followers to charities and enterprises that can help, like mental health charity Mind. 

The information provided by Gurls Talk is not intended to be a supplement or alternative to health care such as proper psychological evaluation, diagnosis and treatment and the platform offers knowledge and support rather than therapy. However, licensed psychologist Dr Lauren Hazzouri has partnered with the platform and shares her perspective and offers evidence-based insights.

Adwoa is undoubtedly beautiful with a career in fashion most can only dream about, but she is also courageous and smart. Gurls Talk provides a safe space to share experiences and feelings as well as gain strength and hope from others and is an influential and movement to help raise awareness of mental health issues. The team at Leila & Geoffrey wish them all the very best.

WEBSITE – http://www.gurlstalk.com/ 

INSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/gurlstalk/ 

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/gurlstalk 

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/Gurls-Talk-1691798000864431/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicola Greenbrook

Nicola Greenbrook

Nicola is a freelance music, fashion and lifestyle writer based in East London and has her own website, Material Whirl.

 

Getting Dressed for Success –  Women’s Charity Smart Works

Getting Dressed for Success – Women’s Charity Smart Works

At Leila and Geoffrey we support artists, charities and creative businesses and love to champion social enterprises that really make an impact. 

Like Smart Works, a UK charity that dresses and coaches women for interview success. 

Choosing what to wear for a job interview is a critical element of the overall preparation. While ultimately your skills, capability and experience should be the key factors to drive success, undoubtedly what you wear can also influence a panel’s decision. But what if you don’t have access to a killer wardrobe, are on a low-income or your confidence is depleted after being out of work for some time?

That’s where Smart Works comes in. They exist to help unemployed women into work, by developing their interview skills and providing them with professional clothes to boost their confidence. The charity welcomes any woman who needs their service, has a job interview secured and who has been referred by one of the hundreds of organisations they partner with including the local Job Centre PlusCentrepoint and Solace. 

At one of their six locations across the UK and with the help of 250 trained volunteers, women can enjoy a focused two-hour session with the Smart Works power team, comprised of two elements; (1) clothing advice and expertise from highly skilled and trained stylists and (2) interview advice from senior managers, HR professionals and executive coaches. 

At the end of the session, Smart Works clients get a complete outfit of clothes and accessories to keep and interview training to help them believe in their ability to succeed. If they bag that dream job, they can come back for more clothing to see them through to their first pay cheque. The clothes are high-quality and donated by other working women, high profile fashion labels and leading retailers including WhistlesEvans and Hobbs.

Patrons include fashion designer Betty Jackson CBE, comedian, writer and producer Jennifer Saunders and leading fashion retail figure Jane Shepherdson MBE. Charity Ambassadors include Barclays Director Caroline Graham, brand and image consultant / The Telegraph columnist Isabel Spearman and Samantha Cameron, Founder and Creative Director of contemporary womenswear label Cefinn, all bringing their unique drive, passion and style to the table.

It’s not just the team that are impressive, the statistics are too. Smart Works dressed over 2,800 women in 2016 in stylish, high-quality clothes and over 1 in 2 women get the job after using its service, with half the charity’s clients finding employment within one month. They were winners in the social care, advice and support category at the Charity Awards 2017 who rewarded their efforts in cross-partner working, addressing diversity and inequality issues and helping women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Smart Works helps women to feel confident, look fabulous, succeed at their job interview and move on with their life. The charity is on a mission to grow across the country and increase its reach to women who really need them. 

Women look in the mirror and see hope and potential; they see themselves again. It’s simple, practical and empowering and here at Leila and Geoffrey we wish them all the very best.

WEBSITE – http://smartworks.org.uk/

INSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/smartworkscharity/

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/smartworkscharity/

IMAN in Wonderland

IMAN in Wonderland

We’ve had the pleasure of being able to work with the beautiful London-based singer/songwriter IMAN. Her songwriting credits include the likes of Ed Sheerdan, Rudimental, and Kanye West, and now she’s releasing her own music under her own record label, Shop Front Records. Growing up in a household where her goals of working in music were actively discouraged, Iman made the courageous move to leave home at 16 to follow her dreams. This powerhouse was recently featured in Wonderland Magazine, and spoke of how she got to where she is now. Read the interview here

Listen to the most recent single, Wishing, on Spotify

 

LCPC in The Daily Mail!

LCPC in The Daily Mail!

First of all, we’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who came out to LCPC’s big launch party a few weeks ago. It’s an exciting time, and we’re grateful to all who helped us celebrate this grand opening! The door is now open to this beautiful safe space. Whether it’s counselling you seek, or it’s you yourself who wishes to be a counsellor, LCPC offers a wide range of services. Low-cost appointments are available, as well as counselling courses – both certificate and diploma programs.

Also, there’s a pretty great deal if you pay a whopping £10 a year – become an LCPC member and receive a 10% discount on LCPC CPD events, talks and conferences. They’ve got some great events coming up, notably Michael Jacobs on November 25th who will be giving a workshop entitled ‘ Oedipus is Alive and Well’. Entrigued? Take a gander over here!

To cap off these exciting few weeks, Jason has been recently featured in a Daily Mail article to offer his insight on the growing number of women who ask their children not to call them ‘mum’.

Speaking to Maureen Brookbanks, he says ‘For some, there is a very real struggle in coming to terms with the life-long identity of being a mother…I suggest mums think carefully about the meaning and impact their demand not to be called Mum may have on their child. Relationships which use parental first names can still be very close, but why create a difference which the child will be impacted by?’

Read more about this phenomenon and what Jason has to say about it here

 

 

Sula Mae – The EP Release and The #takehername Campaign!

Sula Mae – The EP Release and The #takehername Campaign!

Sula Mae had a very exciting first half of 2017, what with her new EP ‘Blind’ peaking at an impressive no.4 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter charts!

In her interview with Beat Media, Sula explained a little about the title track which you can watch below. ‘I fell for a teacher at the school I worked at. I managed to build up the courage to tell him and realised he didn’t feel the same, it was all just a fascination I’d built up in my head. So ‘Blind’ is about that experience, of falling really fast and hard for someone, then realising afterwards that you kind of went a bit crazy and it wasn’t real. But I think you have to put yourself out there into these uncomfortable, vulnerable spaces or you’d never learn a thing.’

 

We love how our artists are using their voices to speak about important issues in our society that need addressing. Like Mila Falls, who is about to launch her ‘Life Unlabelled’ workshops in Norwich, Sula ran the #takehername campaign, which encouraged the support of women in music for International Woman’s Day. She used her EP release show to collaborate with Laid Bare Live’s launch of a new monthly event – ‘Songbirds’ – a series at 93 Feet East created to celebrate talented women in the music industry. PRS for Music reported that their membership of over 95,000 songwriters and composers is only 13 per cent female. And reportedly, there have been cases of female writers pitching songs under a male pseudonym to give themselves a better chance. The #takehername campaign’s aim is to help society move on from pigeon holing female musicians by image and understand that good musicianship and songwriting is all that counts.

Sula’s writing was featured in The F Word, so you can read all about #takehername here

To keep up to date with Sula, visit her at www.sulamaemusic.com