The weather is awful, if you're homeless the wet is worse than the cold -
you get wet, your few possessions get wet, your sleeping bag gets wet. You get cold, you can't get dry and warm. You get ill. You die. That's the reality of living on the streets. Over 44 years old (42 if you're female)? You're living on borrowed time, already past the mean age at death of a homeless person in the UK.
If you see someone on the streets please report them to the authorities by using
to connect them to people who can offer help. Have a dig around your cupboards - is there a waterproof coat hanging there you haven't worn in a while? Do you really need more than one? How many umbrellas do you have? You can only hold one at once. Put things to better use than just taking up cupboard space. Give someone a roll of strong bin liners to put their things in. Make a donation to one of the local charities that do wonderful work with the vulnerable. There is always something you can do to make a difference to someone else.
We've sadly lost a number of long-standing members of our local community these past few weeks - people and faces and names that have been with us for a long time, integral to village organisations and just our daily lives. We are thankful that just by knowing them our lives were all the richer.
Acts of Remembrance all over the country - some small, some much, much larger. All personal and meaningful, bringing together young and old, those that have experienced war and those that haven't. Not to glorify but to make sure what has been done in our name is never forgotten. We will remember them.
1.6million food parcels issued by Trussell Trust Food Banks in 2018 - that's up from 41,000 in 2010. I'll just let that sink in.
With the year beginning the slide towards a close, activity increases in many local charities - plans are being finalised for the many Winter Night Shelters that are run by charities and churches all over Kent, and indeed the whole country. We particularly think about Dover Outreach Centre and Catching Lives, two amazing organisations that give the help, love and support needed for homeless and vulnerable people to take that step onto firmer ground.
39 dead in the back of a refrigerated container - shipped over the Channel like yet another disposable commodity, just a means for organised crime to make money. No one, no one, leaves everything they have behind, hands over all their life savings to someone they know has no interest in whether they reach their destination dead or alive, just on a whim. People are desperate. People Traffickers trade in misery and the consequences of events over the horizon. It's a global issue fuelled by war, poverty, climate change, descrimination and social division. Don't just treat the symptoms, treat the disease.
Saw this... ...thought it was kind of lovely. 1.6
that's the number of food packs issued by food banks run by the
Trussell Trust, the UK's biggest food bank network, last year.
In ONE year. That's a 19% increase on the previous year. Add in
the smaller charities and trusts and it rises even further. But
don't worry, austerity is officially over,
so it can't possibly be that that's causing the problems.