Starting out life during an ale-fuelled chat in their local boozer – and after being inspired by a video from a BBC 3 documentary about the homeless – the sons, aka Jake Rawlings (good friend of 1 Brighton FM), Matthew Grandison (1 Brighton FM DJ and co-host of the What’s Wrong With Groovin’ Radio show) set about starting a Facebook page.
Brighton Homeless Open Cloakrooms is where friends, family and kind folk from the local area could locate various ‘drop off’ points around the town to leave their unwanted winter clothing. Thankfully, some lovely local community cafes offered to help and the Open Cloakrooms were born.
As donations flowed in and the Facebook page became busier, the boys had ideas from the good people posting on their page so decided to start other ways of gathering winter clothing – and quickly. One of the best methods was to go on ‘ahem’ pub crawls (boozeless honest, yeah really) in different areas of the city to ask publicans for any unwanted/unclaimed lost property. It proved to be a great success and after a couple of nights out in the Hanover and London Road area the boys gathered two car loads of bin liners full of winter warmers. Not only did pubs come up trumps, but also the local Dukes Of York cinema too.
So after contacting some of the city’s most well-known homeless centres and facilities, First Base Day Centre seemed the best, most central option to distribute the boys’ bounty to the city’s homeless population. Three drop-offs were made to First Base and its amazing staff over the course of three weeks. Everything from coats, scarves, hats, gloves, jumpers, ski wear and even dog mats were generously donated by the good folk of Brighton & Hove.
The boys have now decided, with the winter nearing its end, to step back from the clothing donations for a short time in preparation for the warmer seasons. Which brings us on to their current campaign; the YMCA Downslink Group and their annual Sleep Easy.
Jake works for the YMCA and decided to join the campaign which helps raise money and awareness for the ever-growing young and vulnerable homeless in the UK. Matthew quickly followed suit as it’s a subject both the boys feel very strongly about. Thinking it would help spread the word and increase donations the lads decided to get someone else involved, so after another ale-fuelled conversation in the local, they drafted in Mr Family Funktunes himself, and 1 Brighton FM favourite, Mr Dan (Dante) Tester to help. Something Dan was more than keen to get involved in.
And with that, the ‘Sons of Agony’ were born. So, on Friday 24th March, the Sons (and with not too much agony involved hopefully) will be kipping down on cardboard, out in the elements and under the stars for the YMCA Downlink Group to help do their bit for the local homeless community.
Everyone deserves to call somewhere – which is safe and warm – ‘home’.
Sons of Agony
Brighton Open Cloakrooms Project
Sleep Easy Facebook page
Sons of Agony Just Giving page