On December 17th three members of the team from the EDAM Group took to the streets of Manchester, to raise awareness of Homelessness in the UK supported by the Charity Depaul UK. For many of us Homelessness is unimaginable, so the prospect of sleeping rough on a Friday Night in central Manchester was going to definitely test them. With a determined outlook, they set their sights on building awareness of the challenges sleeping rough can present with the aim of raising as much money as possible for Deapul UK. The Team braced themselves for a cold night, with the key focus of immersing themselves in a world where these people go unnoticed.
On behalf of everyone here at the EDAM Group in support of the charity, we express our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for all your kind donations over the festive period. Your generosity has not gone unnoticed, and the team wanted to express their gratitude by sharing an insight into how the money could benefit those living on the streets.
Get a glimpse of what life is like for the homeless and how important your contributions are in helping people to move forward.
A Night On The Streets – Our Story
As we head off on what was going to be a very cold night, we were greeted by crowds of individuals looking to celebrate the last Friday before Christmas. It’s hard to imagine how hard it must be for those living on the streets to witness what could only be described as the “luxuries of the rich”. Expensive bags, shoes, dresses, coats, a million miles away from the lives we were about to witness.
Making our way through the drunken madness we were armed with a suitcase filled with gloves, hats, snoods, snacks, toiletries, and a small number of sleeping bags.
The gratitude we received from the items we handed out was overwhelming, so much so that one young lady felt the need to deposit some loose change from the money she had been given that evening into our charity bucket.
We were described as the fortunate, the rich….and in that moment it was true. As we walked away we pondered on that fact that while we all have aspirations in life for a new car or a bigger house that are often out of reach, what we do have is someone else’s idea of happiness, and their dream.
From teachers, to astrophysicists, to abusive relationships, everyone had a story. Despite what you may think, there were a lot of well-educated people sleeping rough on the streets of Manchester, whose life had taken a wrong turn. It makes you think that it could happen to anyone!
Whilst on the streets we witnessed the abuse the homeless received from the general public, and we were astonished to find out that a 15 year old boy is renowned to be one of the main drug distributers to the homeless.
It was hard to believe how these people survived, despite having several layers of clothing on we were still cold and had to keep moving to keep warm. As the night unfolded and the temperatures dropped, our limbs began to stiffen, our backs began to ache and there was no dismissing that it was unlikely that we would be able to sleep.
One thing keeping us going was the companionship of the team, without that I’m not sure we would have made it. There is a lot to be said for team spirit, and on the night of 17th December the minutes were long and the hours were even longer, and it was the spirit of the team that kept us going.
Finally as morning approached we were relieved that we had a warm cosy bed to go home to, however at the same time we felt a little unsettled leaving the streets knowing what the people we had spoken to had to endure on a daily basis.
The struggle on the streets is real, and it’s unimaginable what these people have to face daily to survive. Depaul UK has opened our eyes to the hardship and daily struggles of the homeless, so much so that one of tour team was back out on the streets the following evening, on her own, distributing hot drinks as the temperature began to plummet.
These people are real, and despite their struggles, they remained positive and hopeful that there is a better life waiting for them.
Next time you pass someone on the streets remember, life has so many destinations, and without a roadmap it’s easy to take a wrong turn. Depaul UK is helping transform the lives of many people living on the streets, and we are grateful to all our supporters that have helped raise over £1000 that we can present to our chosen charity.
Next time you walk past someone on the street, it’s important to remember that everyone has a story, and while their circumstances may have lead them to a life a poverty and sleeping rough, this was never their vision.
Thanks for your support
Jonny Miller, Rose Taylor, and Rachel Ashcroft