Last Saturday was the second lot of training for my Key Volunteer role at this year’s Crisis Christmas. (NB. Any charity that can convince around a hundred of their volunteers to attend a weekend training session must be doing something right!). The session started with an interesting overview of homelessness in London and the UK by Sarah Macfadyen, Crisis’ Policy & Parliamentary Officer. Sarah spoke about the campaigns Crisis is running to help bring about changes to legislation. You might have heard of the most prominent of these, which is called No One Turned Away. The basis of the campaign is as follows:
Crisis recently sent undercover researchers to 16 councils across England to test the support that is offered to homeless people. In 50 out of 87 council visits, they received little or no help at all. Across the country, this is likely to mean thousands of homeless people are asking for help and getting nothing.
No One Turned Away [is] calling for politicians to review the help single homeless people in England get under the law, so no one is forced to sleep rough.
It was shocking to hear that the researchers/actors denied help from their local council included those presenting with mental health issues and as victims of domestic violence. If you’d like to find out more or add your name to the petition (it takes less than 30 seconds!), you can do so by following the link above.