In December, I blogged about how my school was raising funds for Crisis as our Christmas fundraising initative (see here). This was really important to me personally as I have volunteered with Crisis nearly every Christmas over the last 12 years.
In my time I have worked at venues across London, helped in set-up, used the 02/Millennium Dome as a shelter, been used as a poster boy, and got to sound-engineer The Cheek Girls:
However the most important part is always the truly amazing and inspiring time spent with the guests. They come from all walks of life, with all kinds of amazing stories. I'm lucky to be part of the activities team, we are tasked with putting the 'fun' in Crisis at Christmas. We run a whole range of activities including IT, art, music, games, sports, a library...
Take a look at this video to see a little of what Crisis at Christmas 2012 was all about:
A moment that will always stick with me this year is seeing a young girl (aged 19) who I had got to know as we spent time making a Christmas card, just after she had had her teeth checked and cleaned and her hair cut. I asked her how she felt and she just smiled and said, "Beautiful."
This summed up the work we do, making people feel human again.
There were difficulties, and hearing stories of the conditions in which many of the guests spend their nights during the rest of the year, drug and alcohol problems, abuse and so on is always hard. Introducing them to Skylight and the services on offer can be a genuine and very real step forward and a way of breaking the cycle that many guests are desperate to escape.
Leslie Morphy, Crisis chief executive said: "This year Crisis at Christmas was busier than ever. With homelessness on the rise, we would like to express our gratitude to our volunteers, donors and supporters for providing such an excellent service to our thousands of guests. In 2013 we will continue to deliver life-changing services and campaign for change".
Sacred Heart of Mary raised over a £1000 this Christmas and this will be spent on changing lives for the better. Thank you SO much.