Last year LSE Law student, Jeanette Lee, volunteered with one of our fantastic charity partners Crisis over the Christmas period. The festive season can be a critical time of the year for people who are homeless, but Crisis at Christmas strive to provide immediate help during the season for those affected by homelessness. If you want to volunteer this Christmas check out our blog about how you can get involved if you’re staying in London.
In December 2018, I volunteered with Crisis for Christmas – a homeless shelter that operates through various centres throughout London (and England), and provides guests with accommodation, food, workshops and counselling sessions for two weeks over Christmas. Volunteering with Crisis was sobering: we often walk by homeless people on the streets with certain preconceptions about how they ended up in their present lifestyle.
However, having real conversations with the guests at Crisis made me realise just how ignorant I was. Many guests had stable day jobs but no roof over their heads due to rising rents and/or the need to send money back home to their families. I’m aware that shelters like Crisis are but stop-gap measures (to meet the common immediate need of talking guests out of suicide, especially around Christmas), and that far more needs to be done at the policy level to tackle London’s housing crisis.
If homelessness is something you are passionate about tackling, then I would nonetheless strongly recommend volunteering with Crisis at Christmas – it’s a good starting point for learning about how more can be done.
If Jeanette has inspired you to volunteer, check out one of our other 200+ ongoing opportunities or book a one-to-one with David Coles, the Volunteer Centre Manager if you have more questions. If you are short on time, then take a look at the one-off opportunities taking place in Lent Term organised by the LSE Volunteer Centre. And why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date with our events and opportunities and read our blog for more volunteering tips and stories.