With just seven sleeps until the big day, Blue & Green Tomorrow is encouraging readers to think about donating even a small amount over the festive period to one of the many children’s charities doing exceptional work. Today, it’s Shelter.
For those who are only familiar with the stylish London address of Notting Hill in its gentrified modern state, it may be difficult to imagine its mid-20th century existence. In the 1960s, the area’s dire housing conditions appalled the local reverend Bruce Kenrick, a determined social activist.
He saw homeless families forced into overcrowded hostels, while exploitative landlords such as Peter Rachman became notorious. Resolving to improve these circumstances, Kenrick founded the charity Shelter in 1966.
Four decades on, though the slums of Notting Hill are long gone, Shelter still campaigns to end homelessness and inadequate housing in England and Scotland. It provides advice and advocacy to people in need, and lobbies the government for new laws and policies to support homeless and badly housed people.
Sadly, this is still very necessary. In 2012/13 the charity saw a 47% rise in the number of people that came to them for help. Shelter warns that the rising cost of living and cuts to welfare will mean many parents face a battle to keep a roof over their children’s heads this year.
In 2012, Shelter held its most successful Christmas campaign to date, raising £2.3. This year’s appeal requests donations for the 80,000 children who will be homeless this festive season, waking up on Christmas morning in a B&B, hostel, or even on the street.
“One homeless child at Christmas is a tragedy,” the campaign says. “80,000 of them is a disgrace.”
How to donate
Text HOME to 87080 to donate £3 to Shelter’s Christmas Emergency Appeal, or visit www.shelter.org.uk/donate.