Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Under One Sky?
Under One Sky (UOS) is a volunteer-led initiative that has supported more than 4,000 people living on the streets of London since 2012. Founded by Mikkel Juel Iversen, we are active in Cambridge and Madrid, with plans to expand to Manchester, Brighton, Bristol, Paris and Berlin.
2. Why was UOS founded?
Our mission is to meet homeless people with a spirit of compassion, and a genuine desire to connect and create a feeling of belonging in our world today. UOS was founded on the principle that humanity is one large family. We are all connected, regardless of nationality, race, religion, education, age, gender, sexuality or any other label
3. Is UOS a registered charity?
UOS is a company limited by guarantee, a not-for-profit organisation. The organization does not earn profits for its owners. All of the money we raise through donations is used to pursue our objectives and maintain our operations.
4. How is UOS funded?
As a not-for-profit organisation, our work relies exclusively on private funds, and we spend those donations on supporting homeless people directly.
5. How does UOS spend the money it raises?
Pre Covid-19, UOS volunteers would distribute support packages with food, clothes, toiletries, sleeping bags, gift cards, books, and messages of hope & light, to people living through very dark times. Some of these items are donated for us to distribute, in addition to the supplied we purchase. Gift cards are used to buy mobile phones, tents, winter clothes, and other necessities.
1. How has UOS responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the effects of lockdown on rough sleepers in London?
On March 22nd, the day before the UK was officially put under lockdown, a group of our volunteers went out to speak to our friends sleeping rough in Central London, to understand their situation as a result of the pandemic. What we found was an acute deterioration in their wellbeing, with their basic needs for food and water, no longer being met.
Despite the Government’s pledge to house all rough sleepers, we found many who had been left behind.
On April 2nd, we launched a nightly food ‘outreach service’ providing hot food and drink to rough sleepers around Victoria, Kings Cross, London Bridge, Soho, and the Embankment. Our volunteers have been going out every night since.
2. How much money has been raised since your emergency efforts were reported in the UK press, at the end of April 2020?
We have raised over £125k in donations from the public.
3. What have these funds been spent on, and what will they be spent on?
These funds have been spent on:
- Supplies, including food & beverages, clothing & toiletries, event equipment (hot bags, trolleys etc)
- Direct support for homeless people (sim cards, sleeping bags, train tickets, uber fares)
- Transport costs (fuel for deliveries, uber fares, congestion charging, parking)
4. How many meals have been served since the start of UOS’s emergency response initiative?
At the start of June 2020, we had served over 18,000 meals.
5. How many volunteers does UOS have?
We have a community of 800 volunteers. At present, we have paused new volunteer registrations but those interested are invited to join our mailing list.