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London homeless charity issues cold weather appeal

 As an exceptionally cold spell grips London, the Simon Community is appealing for gifts of warm clothing, blankets, food and cash donations to help London's street homeless. All clothing and food will be distributed directly to homeless people in central London through the charity's street work and soup runs. Spokesman Philip Burke said: "We urgently need hats, scarves, gloves, blankets, sleeping bags and foods suitable for making soups. We also welcome cash donations to help with the cost of distribution and streetwork. "The collection point is St Joseph's House, 129 Malden Road, Kentish Town, London NW5 4HS. For more details please contact 020 7485 6639." At the last independent street count researchers found more than 300 people sleeping on the streets of Central London. Snow has been falling in the capital for much of today. Temperatures at night are forecast to be below freezing at least until Sunday. Homeless charities warn that people living out of doors in these conditions risk damage to health and in some cases loss of life. The Simon Community is a registered charity living with and working alongside London's street homeless for the past 40 years.