19/06/2015

Nourishing those less fortunate

"I don't want to live in the kind of world where we don't look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I cant change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit" - Charles de Lint

7,581 people slept rough at some point in London during 2014/15 - Just in London, and these were only the people that were seen, many remain hidden away in an attempt to get a safe night's sleep.
Last year alone 111,960 people in England made a homeless application. A 26% increase since 2010/11. Yet there are only 35,000 beds available in hostels for single homeless applicants. This has reduced in the last 4 years due to funding cuts. 

It seem's whilst many people's heart's go out to those less fortunate, so very few do anything about it. There are also some small minded people in this world spreading a conception that everyone living on the street's must have put themselves there through Drug or drink addiction and so it must be their own fault. 
True as it may be that some of these people have ended up in this situation through an addiction that took over their life, what right does anyone have to judge them. Why is this a valid reason to walk away and leave a person hungry, cold and alone? Do you not think that if someone felt lost enough that they felt the need to turn to substance abuse to get them through the day, that they haven't already had it bad enough? Does it make you feel powerful and privileged turning your nose up at someone else? Because the most powerful thing you can EVER do is to help someone else who is less fortunate than you. Closed and ignorant mind's really frustrate me. So the next time someone say's to you, 'don't give them your money they're probably only going to buy crack with it' please, just take a minute to think for yourself. You don't need to give someone your money - a good morning and a cup of warm coffee would suffice as something. 5 minutes of your time and £2 of your money could change that persons entire morning. 
About a month ago I was having the craziest morning, I had decided to spring clean the house, anyone who knows me knows that I don't do anything by halves. I literally tore apart the entire house, about half way through pulling out everything I owned I remembered I had to go into town before it closed to run some errands that had to be done that day. All in a tizzle I dropped everything I was doing and  looking a complete mess I jumped in the car, got all the way to the car park before realizing the only change I had to for parking was my Gym money. At this stage I'm no gonna lie, I'm getting a little bit ratty. So anyways I use my gym money, mutter a few choice words under my breath (I hate being rushed and unorganised) then I spot a homeless chap, I think he could see I was having a bad day because he smiled at me and said good morning. Those two words and that sincere smile instantly changed my entire mood. I returned the smile, said good morning and continued with my errands. I felt bad that I didn't have any change to give this guy and it played on my mind the entire time I was in town so before I rushed home and continued my day I took 5 minutes out to go to Greg's bakery and used my card to buy the man who had changed my day a sausage roll, a packet of crisps and a bottle of cola. When I gave them to him he was so thankful and he told me that he hadn't eaten in days. When I got back to my car I found a pound on the floor, hello Gym parking money! Now every time I go into town I look out for this guy, and if I see him he gets his lunch bought and I get that beautiful smile. 
On my 19th birthday I went shopping in London, did some of the tourist attractions that I don't do half as much as I should living just outside the city. What I remember the most about that day was the homeless man outside Westminster tube station in a wheel chair holding his most prized possessions, his medals. I had £20 of birthday left in my pocket and considered just giving him the money and heading home but I wanted to know his story. So I bought him one of those cranberry and turkey Christmas sandwiches and a Starbucks cup of tea, bought myself a tea and I stood with him for a minute and just asked 'what are the medals for' he told me that he had served in Iraq, and that he had seen some terrible things, when he came back he suffered with post traumatic stress disorder, turned to drink and lost his family. I burst into tears and had to walk away. It made me so angry that he served our country and the people he risked his life for to keep safe walk past him every day, people who work for our government get off those trains, how do they not see him? Why don't they use our tax money they so happily take from us and help him? Why are they not investing money in more homeless shelters? Why do rapists and murderers in prisons live more comfortably than innocent people who have just been down and out on their luck?! 
Anyways, before I get myself all irate any further..This is what opened my eyes to the homeless and made me want to help. So here's a few charities and organisations that have been set up to help those less fortunate than us. Help a blonde help the world if you can pleaaaasssseeee?  Like I said, a cup of coffee or if you have nothing to give just a warm smile can improve someone's day. 

SCT - Since 1965 this great organisation has been providing drop in shelters, food, support housing, personal development, work experience and preventation of relapse. They really do change lives. Find out more about how you can help over at http://www.sct.org.uk/about-us

Shelter - Working tirelessly to try and prevent homelessness with their extended campaigns, Shelter provide expert advice and guidance to people on the road to becoming homeless assisting them in finding accommodation before it's too late. http://england.shelter.org.uk/what_we_do

Crisis - (http://www.crisis.org.uk/index.php)Have been working for many years now to get homeless people back up on the feet, food, clothed, homed, educated and back into working society.  I really want to get involved in crisis and christmas - check this out:










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