Last Friday night, I joined the Threshold Housing Link team on the annual Big Sleep Out to raise funds for the homeless. Whilst my nose and toes got cold in my inadequate tent my heart became considerably warmer. To be amongst over a hundred people who had taken the time and made the effort to gather their belongings, find a camping chair, tent or a tarpaulin and bed down on a local rugby club pitch was inspiring.
So much generosity from those that helped set up (and take down) the event, those who entertained us, those fed us, and those who watched over us all night to check that we were OK.
At 7.00 am I came away from the event tired and cold, a state that is often all too familiar with those who start their day in a position of homelessness. I however was unbroken unlike others because I am one of the lucky ones, whilst my life may not have always taken the turns I expected it to, I have all my basic needs met and I live within a loving family and group of friends who make it their business to support me.
There are so many people less fortunate and whose journey into homelessness was a consequence of the unintended consequences of their actions or the life they were born into. Talking to ex-rough sleepers standing around the fire pits in the depths of a cold damp night, I was in awe of the lengths that people have gone to in order turn their lives around.
The human spirit is quite something if given the chance and a little support to help it rise from the depths of deprivation of one kind or another. I am grateful to have been given the chance to help those in need.
Big Breakfast Plus Christmas Appeal 2021
Ahead of the reopening of our breakfast service in January 2022, we are delighted to be working alongside partner agency Threshold Housing Link to purchase and distribute Greggs gift cards for those experiencing or in danger of becoming homeless.
Christmas can be a lonely and difficult time for people who are homeless. Could you help us make the festive period a little easier for homeless people in Swindon? Instead of sending Christmas cards in the post this year or when you are buying gifts for a loved one, you can make a donation to our Christmas appeal and help us raise money to buy Greggs gift cards for homeless people locally.
All donations raised through this fundraiser will go towards purchasing gift cards, preloaded with funds so those at risk of or experiencing homelessness can buy breakfast and a hot drink at one of three local Greggs stores in the town centre.
Gift cards will kindly be distributed by outreach workers from Threshold.
Thank you for thinking of homeless people this Christmas.