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Florist gives up Christmas takings for rough sleepers

Former mayor Lulu Mitchell says all Christmas Eve money will go to St Mungo's

18 December, 2018 — By Richard Osley

Lulu Mitchell

ONE of the borough’s best known florists is to give up her Christmas Eve takings for a homeless charity.

Lulu Mitchell, a former mayor of Camden, said she had been struck by the rising numbers of rough sleepers and wanted to do something to help. December 24 is one of the busiest days of the year for flower sellers as shoppers head home for Christmas with treats for loved ones.

But Ms Mitchell, who trades in Oriel Place in Hampstead High Street, said everything the stall makes on Monday will go to St Mungo’s.
“I’ve got a roof of my head and have somewhere warm to go at the end of the day, but I’m out here fore 12 or hours a day and I know how freezing it gets,” she said. “

Ms Mitchell has run the stall for nine years and before that spent many years in South End Green.

She said her grandsons would be forgoing a present from her this Christmas to add to the collection and would be helping out at the stall.

“We’ve got buckets for St Mungo’s at the stall if people want to donate,” said. “Maybe some of the other bigger businesses in Hampstead will want to help to. My suppliers have been great and said they will give me some flowers for free so I can raise as much money for the charity on the day.”

Ms Mitchell said one of her friends had befriended a young rough sleeper and the story had touched her, and motivated her to try and help.

St Mungo’s provides support for homeless people trying to rebuild their lives, and have outreach teams out on the streets.

Ms Mitchell said other flower sellers were now looking to join the Christmas Eve collection.

The New Journal reported in November how a rough sleeper was found dead in a doorway in Chalk Farm Road amid reports he had frozen to death.

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