Give the gift of light this festive season

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28th November 2021

By Rosalind Bluestone

Today marks the first day of Chanukah and Advent and as Christians and Jews around the world light the first candles of their celebrations I am reminded that hope is always possible.

 

In my years in this sector I am continuously humbled and amazed by the capability of the human spirit to survive even the worst of tragedies and I believe it is the power of hope that drives that spirit. Since I set up the charity seven years ago, I have made it our mission to ensure we don’t just deliver essentials but we also deliver dignity and hope to those that are vulnerable and struggling. Time and again I hear stories from the people we’ve supported of how the goods we delivered have provided them with purpose, hope and healing. So, with this in mind as many of us turn our attention to the fun, festivities and celebrations this time of year brings, I’m encouraging you to think of those children and families who will not experience this time of year in the same way we do.

 

These shockingly sad statistics bring to life the extent of the need in the UK alone.

 

- Last year more than 200,000 households experienced the worst forms of homelessness during the festive season, including sleeping on the streets, hunkered down in sheds and garages, stuck in unstable accommodation such as B&Bs or sofa surfing far away from their support networks.

 

- In 2020 as many as 1.7 million people aged 65 or over were reported to be alone on Christmas Day

 

- There are currently more than 15 million people living in poverty in the UK and the number of working families struggling to make ends meet hit a record high just before the pandemic. As many as one in six working households are reported to be living in poverty, finding it impossible to feed and clothe their families and provide a safe roof over their heads.

 

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IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! Together, we really can make a difference and bring light to those in need this festive season.

 

This is a time of year where we reflect, give thanks and celebrate - whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa it is a time to spend with loved ones and to give and receive gifts that demonstrate that love. However you choose to celebrate the festive season, instead of the normal material gifts we think about giving and receiving, I’m asking you to help us bring light to those in need. Your gift means the people we support feel like they have hope and can survive the hardest of times.

 

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