Can you help us put homelessness in the shade?

Published: Monday, 23rd December 2019

Oxford City Council is asking people to help fit out the new homelessness assessment hub and shelter in Floyds Row by donating light shades.

Floyds Row needs more than 120 light shades of varying types and colours.

The council is asking for large light shades that are not made out of paper and are in reasonable condition. They should be at least 30cm or 12 inches wide, with a standard pendant fitting and not needing any extra support.

Earlier this year the council commissioned Oxford architects Transition by Design and Jessop and Cook Architects to work together to design and deliver Floyds Row. Transition by Design led on the development of an initial project brief and the first concept design, and this included consultation with people experiencing homelessness and who had slept rough.

This consultation helped establish the design principles that Floyds Row should be welcoming, calm and familiar, with a homely feel. One of the ways of doing this is to avoid strip lights and use pendant lighting that people usually have at home.

“Floyds Row was co-designed by people experiencing homelessness and you can help us to make it a welcoming, homely place by donating your light shades. The right environment will give people the best opportunity to leave the streets behind permanently and good lighting is part of creating that. Help us put homelessness in the shade – all donations are welcome!”

Polly McKinlay, senior commissioning officer

How and when to donate

People who want to give their light shades can do this at Oxford Town Hall reception. Normal opening hours are 8am to 7pm on weekdays and 10am to 5pm on Saturday. Over Christmas the Town Hall will close at 4pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and will not open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day.

Other ways you can help

The council is not currently looking for people to donate other items for Floyds Row.

People who want to give time, money or help in kind to charities and community groups supporting rough sleepers can find ways to do this on the I Want to Help page on the Oxford Homeless Movement website.   

Oxford Homeless Movement is a partnership of the many organisations working to ensure that nobody has to sleep rough on the streets of Oxford. It is hoping to raise £150,000 for charities helping people rough sleeping and to deliver new services reducing homelessness.

Until Monday 6 January, Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) is pledging to match any donation to Oxford Homeless Movement through a Christmas match fund.

OCF’s pledge to double the difference will apply to one-off and repeat donations over the Christmas period. When eligible for Gift Aid, a typical £30 donation will be worth £67.50 to beneficiaries of the match fund.

You can donate online on the Donation page of the Oxford Homeless Movement website or by sending a cheque to Oxford Homeless Movement, PO Box 941, Oxford OX1 9TQ.

Opening Floyds Row

Floyds Row will open in January when three services currently running on an interim basis in Simon House transfer to the new assessment hub and shelter. 

The conversion of the former jobcentre is being undertaken by ODS, the council’s wholly owned company that operates like a social enterprise. ODS handed over the first phase of construction to the council on Friday 13 December.