Under One Sky
According to Shelter, in 2016 more than a quarter of a million people were homeless in the UK, and the figure isn’t thought to have dropped in 2017. Approximately 8,000 people are sleeping rough in London. Winter is the hardest month for the homeless, struggling to find shelter from the cold, wind and rain.
This winter we are pleased to be working alongside the charity Under One Sky to provide ‘life support packages’ to the homeless battling the winter months. We’ll also be spending time connecting with the people who are living rough and sharing their stories to encourage empathy within society for those less fortunate than ourselves.
Under One Sky consists of over 270 volunteers who take part in this community outreach in addition to their family and work commitments. This year, Smile101 are donating toothpaste & brushes to be included in the ‘life support packages’, to give the people we will be meeting back some dignity. As well as the donation, Dr Sheila Chauhan will be joining the other volunteers to hand out the packages and get to know some of the people living rough on the streets of London.
The charity is completely reliant on private donations and without them, they would not be able to do their work. Because Under One Sky runs on a 100% voluntary basis all the donation end up supporting those having to survive winter on the streets.
If you would like to know more about Under One Sky or make a donation to their cause, then please follow the link.
Mary’s Story – Victoria Station
Mary was sitting lonely in a crowd at Victoria station. She ended up on the street after her home was set on fire and she only just managed to escape. Imagine losing everything and then sliding right through the cracks in society. Imagine one of those lovely grandmothers in the children’s books…now sitting on the street under a blanket in the dirty rain. Mary told us few people talk to her but several sadly spit at her as they walk by. Those people must live in a place less uplifting than the darkest dirtiest corner in London. If you see Mary around town please look after our new grandmother.
Simon’s Music – Elephant & Castle
Simon spends his days sitting in a wheelchair outside Elephant and Castle tube. When he realised I’d returned to give him a bag full of goodies he said: “that is the nicest thing anyone will do for me this Christmas”. But it got better when he learnt of the £30 gift card…he was close to tears as he said: “now I can finally get a radio”. Then he asked what my favourite Christmas tune was, pulled a flute out of his inner pocket and played Silent Night masterfully. I am quite amazed how his mind straight away went to a place of returning the favour. I had a quick peek at Simon over my shoulder as I walked off and by that time he was already wearing the woollen hat from the goodie bag. A really really lovely guy!