Farringdon's Take One Leave One initiative spreads across the UK and globe
- Credit: Veronika Ward
An innovative warm clothes initiative, which began with a single clothes rail outside a Farringdon church, has celebrated its fourth anniversary.
The local Take One Leave One (TOLO) project has, in the last four years, gone national since its first rail offering warm clothes to people experiencing homelessness at Holy Redeemer Church in Exmouth Market.
To mark the anniversary on January 28, additional TOLO rails were launched in Vauxhall in south London, Manchester, Brighton and Leeds.
Plans are also underway to work with homelessness charity shops to put a TOLO on every high street.
Pop icon Boy George praised TOLO on Twitter at last year's launch, stating: "I love this idea."
Other celebrities championing the initiative include Rob Delaney, Gary Linekar, Emily Maitlis and the band Massive Attack, who helped set up and promote a TOLO in Bristol.
It has also received support from homelessness charities Centrepoint, Shelter and Crisis and the Big Issue.
Along with celebrity endorsements, TOLO has found a new mascot this year in the shape of Farringdon Bear.
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Farringdon is a homeless stuffed Koala who was found on a train in Farringdon Station earlier this year by TOLO founder and journalist Stefan Simanowitz.
The search for the bear's owner went viral.
TOLO rails, which can be found across the UK and even in the US and Canada enable communities to provide warm clothing to people in need.
Founder Stefan said: “We have approached the heads of the main UK charity shops with a simple proposal – that they put a rail of warm clothes for homeless people outside their shops this winter.
"With freezing temperatures hitting, this simple idea which can be replicated on any street in the world."
Starting with just one rail, year two saw a dozen and year three saw more than 20 rails.
Last winter more than 30 rails were set up and this winter, organisers hope see even more.
Stefan says TOLO is not a charity or an organisation.
"It is an idea. An idea that we hope will be taken up by homelessness charity shops across the country ensuring we have a TOLO rail on every high street."
To find your local TOLO rail, and to find out more about setting one up, visit takeoneleaveone.org