Home sweet home…not for everyone this Christmas
The headline this week that 70,000 children in the UK would wake up on Christmas day homeless made me stop in my tracks and listen. The headline was Shelter drawing attention to the fact that to be homeless you don’t have to be sat in a shop doorway, you could be out of sight in a B&B, Refuge or Shelter – temporary accommodation – and these figures are on the up in a scary way.
Homelessness is more than just a housing issue; family problems , mental health issues, losing your job and so confidence, not feeling like you can be part of society for a variety of reasons – every person has their own story, you need to get beyond the drink and drugs issues, of course sometimes that is why they are there but it’s also a way of surviving where they are.
When I lived in Bristol I could walk to work everyday (the only time I have been able to do that), when you walk through a city early in the morning and late at night you can’t ignore how many people are living in subways, under bridges, doorways and park benches – I just couldn’t walk past them day in day out as if they weren’t part of my life, I saw some of them more than my family at that time! So I didn’t, I made them part of my life and it was an experience so rewarding I remember them dearly…BUT generally people thought I had finally lost it and I found the preconceived ideas of why people are homeless and the way they were judged very sad.
So this year we have donated the money we would have spent on Christmas cards to The Wellspring in Stockport, they have done a fantastic job for years and this year you will add to their Christmas cheer.
From everyone here at Cheeky Monkey we would like to thanks you for your support this year and hope you have a brilliant Christmas and New Year. Spare a thought for those not as lucky as we are and as you walk past the homeless as you rush getting your last minute bits, stop for a chat make them feel part of your life – it’s the warmest feeling you’ll get all season.