December 8th, 2023
Posted in News
Our Christmas Dinner Appeal always shows how willing people are to help with the work we do at The Wellspring. The end of the year provides an appropriate time for reflection for all of us, and we have decided that this year we want to share some stories, facts and information with all of our supporters. We’re doing this to highlight the impact your ongoing support and donations have for the world that the people we help are currently living in.
The simple truth is that you help us bring hope to this world. We let them know that they are not forgotten, they are seen, and positive change can happen for them.
We will never stop, and we will always need you.
There is so much misinformation, prejudice and confusion about rough sleepers and the housing vulnerable in our country. Just recently, it seems we have been bombarded with media stories about rough sleeping that, whatever their intention, only serve to divide opinion and create further obstacles that we have to navigate to let the general public know what’s actually going on. We work in this world every single day and see the choices that are both made and forced upon people. These choices are so unimaginably far away from the lives that the majority of us lead that is incredibly difficult to empathise for some. Our only response can be through positivity, through continuing our work, and by sharing the real truth of the situations and stories that we see.
Last week saw the coldest temperatures of the year with -5 degrees in some parts of Stockport. In these circumstances our focus immediately turns to some pretty stark decisions working alongside the Local Housing Authority and other service providers. Our positive continuing relationships with these providers is essential to what we do. We recognise the extensive pressures they are under against a backdrop of no available long-term housing and a record amount of rough sleepers in the area, and we work together to find solutions for everybody we can.
Severe Weather Emergency Protocol tries to get everybody off the streets when conditions are extremely hazardous. There is no other way to describe the situation last week other than life threatening for some of our service users. The Wellspring facilitates SWEP referrals for our service users through daily meetings with the local authority while this weather continues, offering a lifesaving service for those that need it the most.
The Christmas Dinner appeal provides a foundation everything we do.
In short, your donations are saving lives in a very real way, right now.
Unfortunately, there are people that we help that cannot access this service. This may be due to lack of availability or dangerous compounding factors that prevent them from being accommodated. As we are keen to show, there are users that suffer from debilitating past trauma, severe mental health issues, or domestic abuse and coercion, often in combination, that make shared accommodation entirely unsuitable in any situation. Understanding this means our efforts have to recognise where this is the case to provide life sustaining support in practical ways through tents, sleeping bags, warm clothes, food provision and daily hygiene facilities.
The reality of the situation for our service users in 2023 means that even those in housing will need enhanced support over this period too. Preventing evictions is more important now than ever, so The Wellspring has to be available to provide food, clothes and ongoing support with the systems and options available to these vulnerable people to keep them housed and off the streets.
Hopefully, this provides a little background and context to why The Christmas Dinner Appeal is so special and important for our service users, our staff and volunteers, and you, or incredible supporters.
It brings light and hope in what can be the darkest time of the year for some.
A shared celebration with great food and a gift can be a genuinely life affirming act. However, importantly it also serves as an opportunity to continue working on their own journey of positive change with The Wellspring’s guidance. Your support really is the gift that keeps on giving for the people that need it now more than ever.
Thanks for reading and helping us do what we do.
From All at The Wellspring