For as long as I can remember I have promised that this year I will volunteer at a homeless shelter for Christmas. But every year I choose mooching around in my pyjamas at home. Probably because my thinking is flawed – homelessness is, quite obviously, an issue all year round. Unbelievably, Shelter From the Storm is the ONLY free shelter that is open every day of the year…and they are based near HUB Islington. This Saturday (December 22) Shelter From The Storm is holding a Christmas Fete at Islington Green – the triangle of grass near the Screen on the Green cinema – from 12-6pm. This is a chance to directly influence the immediate future of homeless people. It’s also the perfect opportunity to finally get round to buying those Christmas gifts!
The shelter was founded in 2008 by lifelong friends Sheila Scott and Louie Salvoni and relies entirely on fundraising events, donations and the hard work of more than 200 volunteers. I met Louie at last year’s fete and asked what inspired him to start the shelter: “It was anger,” he said. “And here we are in 2011 and it’s still anger that fuels us. You can read about homelessness in papers and moan, you can join a camp or get up and do something about it.” Come down on Saturday and, if you can, buy a raffle ticket, eat some home-made cakes, visit Santa in his grotto and maybe, just maybe, get angry for Christmas.
Some useful links:
Details on the Christmas Fete
A bit more about Shelter From The Storm