‘THERE’S A WORLD OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOW’
As Christmas Day approaches, Tshequa looks at how we can support those less fortunate than ourselves over this festive period.
Written by Tshequa Williams
Fashion Co-Editor of Student Life’s magazine
One of the most controversial lines in the famous Band Aid single is “Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you”, which I’d agree can be interpreted as both patronising and harsh. However, one thing it does highlight is the level of privilege and luck that we have to be able to celebrate Christmas comfortably. While we decorate our houses, buy gifts for our loved ones and stock our cupboards with an abundance of Christmas food, the world outside our festive bubbles doesn’t stop.
Every time I step out into the cold, the real chill that comes over me is seeing homeless people or rough sleepers on our streets. Every unnecessary Christmas snack makes me think of the increasing numbers of families that rely on food banks to feed themselves. Every expectation of a ‘Happy Christmas’ masks over the true feelings of those having a difficult time: through illness, bereavement or loneliness.
In the world of a commercialised Christmas, it is urgently important that we consider those less fortunate than us – whatever the struggle in someone’s life, it doesn’t stop just because it is Christmas. Fundraising and donations shouldn’t stop at Christmas; in fact, it is the perfect time to give back to the world and do something to make a difference.
Here are some ideas of how YOU can help this Christmas time:
- Care packages: A small way to help out those who are rough-sleeping, is to fill zip-lock bags with some essentials that will help to make someone a bit more comfortable. You could include bottled water, thick thermal socks, personal hygiene items, gloves and food, along with a handwritten note.
- Donations, instead of buying presents: donate on behalf of your family, using the money you’d usually spend on presents to give to a chosen charity.
- Volunteering: Places like soup kitchens and shelters are always looking for volunteers, especially at Christmas when more people are desperate to get out of the cold and have a hot meal.
Alongside doing her A-Levels, Tshequa aims to go on to study English Literature next year at university. Tshequa works within Student Life, a charity that aims to upskill and improve the lives of young people, particularly regarding mental health. She is the Fashion Co-Editor and a writer for Student Life’s magazine and has been trained in Mental Health First Aid.