As part of our Christmas Shopping Weekend, on Saturday 30th November hush will donate 10% of all proceeds to Crisis, the national charity for homeless people. We spoke to Richard Lee, Director of Fundraising at Crisis, about their Christmas campaign and the vital work they do all year-round…
Meet Our Charity Partner
Over Christmas specifically, how does Crisis support people?
Our work at Christmas is just the beginning of helping people out of homelessness. It’s a huge volunteer effort, with Christmas centres spanning the length and breadth of Great Britain - offering advice and support with health, housing, employment, benefits food and clothing.
For many, Crisis’ Christmas centres offer a chance to regain confidence and plan for their future, in a supportive environment, away from the immediate hardships of homelessness.
But we don’t stop there. We introduce guests to our year-round training, education and support with housing, employment and health. This long-term support helps people to rebuild their lives and leave homelessness behind for good.
Of course, Crisis' work is all-year round. What are the key challenges that homeless people face in the UK today, and how does Crisis help?
When we all have a place to call our own, we then have the best chance of being healthy, having a job and feeling part of society. However, due to rising pressure from the costs of maintaining and keeping a home and low incomes many in Britain are struggling to keep their head above water.
Without the right support at the right time, a sudden increase in pressure, like losing a job, becoming ill, or leaving home to get out of an abusive relationship, can quickly force people over the edge and they can find themselves with no one to turn to and nowhere to go. This can be more pronounced at Christmas time when support services are limited.
That’s why at Christmas our service offer is stepped up. Our Christmas centres offer hope where previously there may not have been any, can help someone take their first steps out of homelessness.
How vital are donations to your work? And what might donations be used for over the festive period in particular?
Crisis relies on donations to deliver year-round services to over 10,000 people across Britain, and continue work towards our mission of ending homelessness once and for all. We know it’s possible - we have the solutions to end homelessness for good. Until that day, we will be there, side by side with people who are homeless.
You can help. Reserve a place for someone at a Crisis Christmas centre and change their life for good. You can donate here.
What wider, long-term changes does Crisis campaign for?
Crisis campaigns to end homelessness for good in Great Britain. We’ve published a plan showing the solutions that can end homelessness in Britain, and we know we can #EndHomelessness. But we need the political will and commitment to make it happen.
Our current campaigns which you can support are:
- A Safe Home to ensure everyone fleeing domestic abuse in England is guaranteed a safe home from their council.
- Cover the Cost to restore Local Housing Allowance rates to cover the cost of rents across Great Britain and prevent thousands of people from becoming homeless.
- Scrap the Act to abolish the Vagrancy Act, which criminalises people just for sleeping rough and begging in England and Wales.
What does a day at Crisis look like?
Every day we work side by side with people to help them rebuild their lives. We use our decades of experience of working with homeless people, to shape the services we provide and the changes we campaign for. How we can help depends on someone's needs and situation. Our coaches provide one-to-one support for housing and employment, and activities, courses and classes to help members build their confidence, skillset and motivation.
What would be your advice to someone wanting to work for a charity organisation?
Take time to think about which issues are closest to you to ensure maximal job satisfaction. Show your passion for your cause and get involved in working directly with beneficiaries as often as possible. You will feel more fulfilled and effective in your role if you have a strong knowledge of the organisation you work for and how it impacts people’s lives.
In addition to donating, how can individuals help support your work?
There are many ways to get involved with Crisis:
Volunteer: Volunteer at one of our Christmas centres. Whatever your skills are, there’s a role for you. You could run a yoga session for guests, or if you can sing like Whitney, you could lead a karaoke tournament.
Campaign: Support our Cover the Cost campaign, calling on Government to invest back into Local Housing Allowance rates and prevent more people from losing their home, saving money in the long run.
Fundraise: By taking part in our Crisis Icebreaker event, or creating your own fundraising activity, you can raise vital funds to end homelessness. Whatever your passion is, make it Crisis: reach out to our Events and Community team today for expert fundraising advice to help make your event a success.