News: Jay Flynn joins the fight to end homelessness

Photograph of Jay sitting on the bench he used to sleep on
We found Jay sleeping on this bench near Embankment

We are delighted to welcome Guinness World Record holder and quizmaster extraordinaire Jay Flynn as The Connection at St Martin’s new charity ambassador!

Jay went viral at the start of the pandemic by running weekly virtual pub quizzes, keeping people together during the height of lockdown. Since the first one in March 2020 there has been over 20 million views of his quizzes!

Using his platform, Jay has raised over £1.3million for good causes, including £80,000 for The Connection and has received an MBE for his incredible fundraising efforts. In 2021 he ran the London Marathon to support The Connection and is running again this year.

The Connection is a cause close to Jay’s heart as he credits us for helping him to find a home after sleeping rough on the streets of Westminster for two years.

After being left a card one of our outreach workers, Jay came to The Connection’s night centre. Jays says: “The first day in there was absolutely incredible. I got to speak to the key worker and told him all about my situation… it was the first time in two years someone wanted to help me.”

That key worker was Pete, who has worked at The Connection since 1988 and is still with us today. He remembers Jay as a “genuine, supportive guy, always putting his front foot forward.” About Jay, he says what he’s doing now doesn’t surprise him, as he always wanted to help and support others.
With help from The Connection, Jay got into a hostel before getting a room in a shared house.

The Connection at St Martin’s works with people who are sleeping rough in Westminster to find a place to call home.

It often starts with a chat, a coffee and perhaps a hot meal or shower. The chance to use a washing machine or to charge a phone – simple things that aren’t easy when you’re living on the streets.

Then it’s about listening to people, building up trust and understanding, so we can work out together what they need next. It could be advice on finding somewhere to live, opportunities to gain skills, grow their confidence, self-belief and chances of work. For Jay, this was through our group art and football sessions.

Jay says “Without The Connection at St Martin’s I wouldn’t be where I am today. Their support was absolutely vital and I’m thrilled to continue working with them to fundraise to make sure they can be there for everyone who needs them. Nobody should have to live on the streets and I look forward to working to raise awareness of how we can all help to end homelessness.”