A Very British Weather Obsession
But are we missing something?
As Brits, we love to talk about the weather! In fact, many of us will spend over 4 months of our lives speaking about anything and everything weather related. But are we leaving something important out of those conversations?
When we speak about the weather, it’s usually as small talk. We chat about it to start up a polite conversation or to fill an empty silence. We mention the weather, all the while knowing we can slip inside and away from the freezing rain or bitter cold. But what about the people who are stuck out on the streets with no reprieve from those vicious winter winds?
There are around 320,000 homeless people in the UK right now, and just like you, many of them will talking about the weather. The difference? Their conversations won’t just be small talk, their conversations will be about survival.
Winter in the UK is a perilous time for people living rough on the streets. In recent years, hundreds of homeless people have died in the UK from illnesses caused by sub-zero weather such as hypothermia, frostbite and pneumonia. These vulnerable people were living on the frozen streets, unequipped for the cold weather, leaving them extremely susceptible to falling ill.
The UK forecasts state that this year Britain could be hit with our coldest winter in over a century; it’s time to talk weather again. But this year, let’s be sure to include the people who really suffer from this weather in these conversations.
Winter in the UK
9 out of 10 Brits have talked about the weather in the last six hours. Dialogue about it being nippy outside or bundling up to brace for the cold can be heard all around the nation. What we don’t hear about and rarely mention, is the fact that more than 120,000 children will be homeless by the end of December. Government statistics show that the amount of children living in temporary accommodation is at an all-time high, with numbers of homeless minors increasing by 73% since 2010.
As freezing temperatures sweep the nation, there will be thousands of young people living rough and fearing for their health this winter. These staggering numbers demand attention. We are experiencing a national emergency, but if we don’t discuss it and act on it then the UK will once again accumulate a shocking number of avoidable winter deaths. Lives will be lost if we do nothing.
Penny Appeal’s Winter Emergency is opening up the small talk in order to do some BIG things for the most vulnerable people in our community. Our Winter Emergency appeal provides essential relief during the harsh winters to refugees, the homeless and families living in abject poverty across the UK and abroad. Our work supplies these people with warm clothing, blankets, food packs, and other essentials to keep them safe during this difficult season.
Last winter, we were able to provide over 6,000 hot meals, delivered hundreds of food parcels and supplied 2,000 Winter Kits to the homeless here in the UK. If more people lend a hand this year, then we can help thousands more homeless people survive the winter.
A simple donation of £50 will provide a person in need with a Winter Kit to protect them from the cold. Your donation could save a life, your support could provide protection and your kindness could change the conversation.
We know you’re just dying to talk about the weather, so why not join a conversation that matters? Squash the small talk and spread the word about Penny Appeal’s Winter Emergency campaign. Together we can protect the homeless from harm this winter.
Cold hands, warm hearts
This winter is going to be a cold one, but you know what they say: cold hands, warm hearts. So when you get a bit chilly this season, keep the homeless in mind and do something heart-warming for those less fortunate than you. We can get these people the help they need by turning the topic of homelessness into an open dialogue and telling others the simple things they can do to help.
Whether it’s volunteering or making a donation to Penny Appeal’s Winter Emergency, every little bit helps to protect those in need. Thousands of homeless men, women and children need help to survive this winter. A simple gift of warmth from you could help them do just that, and a simple word to your friends could help so many more.
So as winter rolls on and we all start chatting about the weather again, we hope you’ll keep the most vulnerable among us in your hearts and spare a donation for those struggling with the cold.
MONDAY 20 JAN 2020