Crisis at Christmas

Whilst most of us look forward to Christmas as a time to share gifts and food with family, this is obviously not the case for the single homeless in the UK. This year the Art VSU group worked to support the charity Crisis during the Christmas period.

With numbers of homeless people rising and access to much-needed social support diminishing during a period of austerity, the Art VSU group spent some of our Thursday afternoons making Christmas cards and brooches to be sold at the school’s Christmas Fair.

This, in combination with art sales on my website, raised enough to give ten homeless people access to Crisis at Christmas; providing them with a week of food, facilities, companionship, healthcare such as opticians and dentists, massage, hairdressing, hypnotherapy and yoga amongst many other services.

The aim of Crisis is to end homelessness so their focus is also to assist as many of the guests as possible in terms of accessing schemes which can help them out of homelessness. During Christmas week I worked in the North London Rough Sleeper Centre as an Art Activity Leader and saw first-hand the amazing work of this charity. With 11,000 volunteers, Crisis at Christmas supported 4000 homeless men and women, people who would otherwise have had a very bleak time. But the work of Crisis does not end once the Christmas trees come down. They work throughout the year in their Skylight Centre in London – and other centres around the country – to provide ongoing support to those facing or experiencing homelessness.

Understanding the social issues which affect those who are in danger of facing homelessness is something which the school takes very seriously and one of our charities which the school supports this year is the Bridge Trust which supports homeless people in West Kent.

Congratulations to Art VSU and specifically to Charlie Bonner-Davies who sold all the cards and brooches within two hours at the Christmas Fair. Please keep an eye out for more handmade products from the Art VSU as we continue to raise funds for the Bridge Trust and Crisis. To donate to Crisis, please visit www.crisis.org.uk 

Emma Delpech

Images: work created by homeless guests while Emma was at the centre in London.

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