As the festive season finally arrives and the cold weather takes hold of the country, the team at sales-i have given consideration to those less privileged – with a focus on homelessness this holiday.
Initiated and coordinated by Catherine Foulkes, sales-i’s Customer Success Manager, the team donated winter clothing, toiletries, sleeping bags and money to help local homeless shelter, St Anne’s.
Cat’s enthusiasm and kindness to help those in need has inspired us all. The collection of old and new items will be delivered by Cat to St Anne’s before the holidays and distributed to the homeless community it serves.
About St Anne’s Hostel
St Anne’s has been serving the community for 41 years. Founded in 1976 by Father Pascal Dillon, a local priest, in the crypt of St. Chad’s Cathedral the hostel moved to the old police barracks in Digbeth.
The main hostel can care for 37 residents in private rooms with shared bathrooms. The hostel also has learning, TV and dining rooms. Most importantly, and a rarity in hostel accommodation in the UK, dogs are allowed to stay in their owners’ rooms.
St Anne’s also supports a block of 18 self-contained apartments next to the hostel. These serve those with a history of homelessness or who have experienced difficulty in maintaining independent tenancies.
Homelessness in the UK
It is hard not to notice the dramatic rise in homelessness and rough sleeping in all large cities and towns across the UK.
Although political parties remain at loggerheads as to what to do to reverse this worrying trend, the facts cannot be ignored.
Homelessness Charity www.homeless.org.uk have been crunching the unpalatable numbers from various surveys and local authority data sets.
Here are a few of the grim facts:
- 27,470 households made a homelessness application at their local authority in April – June 2017.
- 3,090 young people (aged 16 – 24) were acknowledged by authorities as statutory homeless.
- 12,320 households were placed in Bed & Breakfasts or hostels in 2017 with those deemed most vulnerable due to having a household member under 18 or someone with mental illness more likely to miss out on support.
- Since 2010 rough sleeping estimates show an increase of 134%. This adds up to a staggering 4,134 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night.
All of the above does not account for those relying on the kindness of friends and family, ‘sofa surfing’ to avoid sleeping rough.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the sadness of these figures and feel that one person can’t make a difference. By supporting the local charities facing these challenges daily we can give hope to those who will be spending the holidays on the streets. A hope for a different Christmas for 2018.
If Cat has inspired you to get involved (like she did us!) or donate, you can find out more about St Anne’s HERE