Ed Miliband has visited Church Army’s Marylebone Project for homeless women in London to deliver a Christmas hamper and meet with its clients and staff.
During his visit, Ed was given a tour of the project which includes residential accommodation for 111 women, a specialist mental health unit, a day centre and a social enterprise. He also spent time with the project’s clients who were able to share their experiences of homelessness with him.
Speaking afterwards, Ed said: “It has been a great opportunity for me to visit The Marylebone Project. I have been deeply moved by hearing the stories of staff and residents and learning about the struggles many of them face day by day. I will carry this experience with me and will not forget what I have heard here. Thank you for all you are doing."
Sanaa, a client at the project who met with Ed, said: “I have enjoyed meeting Ed Miliband. I am glad he visited us and that he took time to listen to our stories and understand the issues. I hope things can be better in the future.”
Last year The Marylebone Project provided 40,515 bed nights to homeless women and helped 84 of its clients back into independent living. Its work is centred on the themes of spirituality, hospitality, empowerment and resettlement.
Church Army Chief Executive, Mark Russell, said: “Many of the women we support at The Marylebone Project are the most vulnerable in our society and have come from backgrounds of domestic violence, abuse, trafficking and mental health difficulties. Therefore, having Mr Miliband visit today will have meant the world to these women, as it sends a clear message to them that they are valued and not forgotten. It has also been a real boost to the staff who work tirelessly and sacrificially throughout the year.”