When I was out shopping yesterday in Manchester I could not help notice the number of homeless people on the streets. One man had a sign informing people he was an ex service man looking for shelter. Another big issue seller who we stopped to chat to had a large Alsatian and it was inspiring to hear him speak about his dog. He was telling us how he sleeps in a tent with his companion, how he spends £1 per day on his dogs joint care supplement and how he gets a small insurance policy with The Dogs Trust which he is saving to get an X-ray for the dog when he heads back to Somerset.
It is often difficult to gauge who really is in need of help and who is a scammer. This I feel is where a lot of people struggle with charity specifically related to the homeless and people on the street. You just do not know who is true and who is fake. For me I have always said I would rather risk it, as in I would rather give £10 to someone in the hope they are genuinely in need rather than not give due to the fear they are a scammer.
I consider myself extremely fortunate. I wont lie I was in Manchester on a mission to find and buy a ridiculously expensive pair of shoes (a treat to myself which I wont justify to you as that is not the topic here). I was also very lucky a little later on to win some money. Initially considering that win to be a contribution to said shoes, I quickly realised I had treated myself earlier on in the day completely unaware that I was going to win that money. So here I am sat wondering what to do with it.
I owe some friends a date night and most people close to me would usually consider that to mean a nice dinner and some even better gin cocktails. However, having recently given up on the good old alcohol for wanting to improve myself and my mental health I propose a date night of another kind for anyone who wishes to join. I am going to go out with my winnings and whoever wishes to join me and spend the night getting to know some people living on the streets. I will have some hot drinks and snacks and an ear to listen to some stories. Do this wherever you are, and if you need any help organising something like this in your area please send me an email and I will provide any help I can.
Let’s find some perspective in life and realise how fortunate we are.
You can read more about The Big Issue Charity here. Donations can go towards helping someone get the flu vaccine, care for their dog and even get the dental treatment they need.