The weatherman warns temperatures could drop below -14 degrees! Hot drinks, hot water bottles, hot homes, no need to worry. But, we can’t all hibernate until the good, sunny weather comes back. This time of year is hardest on our homeless, it’s hard to forget some will go the entire winter without a warm house, dry clothes or the occasional taste of a delicious gingerbread latte.
An unavoidable theme of winter in England is Christmas, a joyous celebration of self-sacrifice, giving to others and gathering together to share the warmth of a roaring fire, a perfectly made cup of tea or even just another’s company. This winter, lets spare some generosity to those who need it most. Imagine how happy we can make some freezing fellows, with just a little time, effort and friendliness.
Most of us have spare, old or even never used warm clothes. Where are those gloves we’ve been waiting to come back into fashion or those old raincoats? Maybe give to Shelter, like I do every month, a charity dedicated to fighting homelessness. Shelter’s current campaign is all about children, helping them find a place to call home this winter. Streetlink is a different charity that helps us help the homeless, we can use it to tell local services where people are sleeping rough through their website or mobile app, so they can find and help these people.
I met up with Wimbledon resident Neil Murphy, who regularly uses Streetlink to help people. A few weeks ago, when it dropped below freezing, Neil went out with some spare duvets and festive spirit, saying “luckily most of the guys were off the street that night. But there was one guy sheltering in a shop doorway, so I offered him a duvet, and he gladly accepted. It just seemed the natural thing to do.” concluded Neil. Many of you are like Neil, this is a call to action for anyone who maybe didn’t know about Streetlink (I didn’t before Neil told me), and are looking for an easy way to spread a little festive cheer.
Let’s spread warmth this winter, spread love and spread faith in humanity – together we can make winter warmer. I’m donating half of my pay to charity, and I couldn’t be happier, Christmas is about giving, not taking. Your old hat could become someone’s treasure. Feel free to share your stories below.
Visit: streetlink.org.uk for more information.
By William Davis – Winner of Lady Wimbledon’s Blogging Competition in association with KU Talent.