The sun is out and as many of us either hide from the sweltering temperature or enjoy the change, for our guests escape isn’t an option.


We have increased our distribution of liquids (water and juice) and continue to provide milk fortnightly.  It is, however, a shame that we have to limit supplies to just one bottle of each per guest per week.


This year, supermarkets have limited the amount of cases of water and milk customers can buy at any one time, this has caused us and a number of other charities a lot of trouble. It’s difficult to provide milk for 100 guests if you can only buy 12 bottles in one shop!


Interestingly, guests still ask for soup in spite of the rising temperatures … a testament to how delicious the food on offer is.


But as the summer vacations begin, we have also experienced a drop in the number of volunteers and groups who are able to work with us as many have reduced their services due to understaffing.


As a charity that provides a regular service 52 weeks of the year irrelevant of holidays or weather conditions, we often have to navigate fluctuations in volunteers and donations and keep raising awareness and donations so our service isn’t affecting during these periods and guests don’t feel the difference.


But what is wonderful is that students on holiday in the UK for the summer have come to volunteer and return year on year while on their travels, they remember guests and often ask after individuals specifically.


COA has built an international community where individuals come together whenever they can to support London’s most vulnerable, meet like minded people and give back. It’s an honour to be a part of it.