At Changing Lives we offer year-round support to people who are experiencing tough times. However, we all know that this time of year can be particularly difficult for many of the people we support in our services – including people experiencing a period of homelessness, addiction, spending Christmas in prison, or living in abusive or exploitative situations.
This week we are launching our Christmas campaign #nevermydream to ask everyone to think about hopes and dreams this Christmas time. We believe that no matter what your background or current situation, you deserve to dream and are worthy of hope. Hope to belong somewhere, of having sufficient income to sustain you and your family, of having something to eat, to be nourished, warm and safe – we want everyone to feel cherished during the festive period.
We know that this campaign will not solve the wider social problems we face in our communities as we see increasing levels of homelessness and poverty on our streets. We also know that no-one we work with ever dreamt that they would find themselves facing such challenge and adversity in their lives.
The stark reminder for many of us when we walk past festive shop windows, watch adverts depicting the ideal family scene of laughter and love. Ultimately what we all seek is emotional connection and a sense of belonging in our communities, and never more than during the Christmas period.
People who walk through the doors of our services are often coming to us at a particularly tough time in their lives. At Changing Lives we are supporting increasing numbers of people with higher levels of trauma and distress. We all see this on our streets every day and sometimes we can feel overwhelmed and that our responses are inadequate. The smallest acts of kindness can make such a huge difference to us all as we know we are not alone. The knowledge that we are all individually respected and valued can be a catalyst to help people move on from troubled times and lead a flourishing life.
All we ask is that you think about the prospect of giving people going through tough times some hope – help them to remember their childhood dreams and build a better future for themselves.
You can help the people we support at Changing Lives this Christmas by donating to our charity. Even the smallest donations can make the difference at this time of year.
Thanks for your support.