Has the absence of office-related coffee runs, overpriced sandwiches and train tickets spared you a few extra quid? Then join Shelter's 'Work for Home' initiative and help keep a safe roof over the heads of those in need
As we enter week 10 of lockdown, millions of employees across the UK have settled into the cosy groove of working from home, having swapped the hectic morning commute for an extra hour in bed, and Tesco meal deals for elaborate home-cooked lunches.
But for England’s 280,000 homeless and 600,000 more living in rented, overcrowded accommodation, lockdown is a much tougher and more dangerous experience, with living conditions that make following the public health guidance nearly impossible, let alone being able to work from home.
In fact, new figures show that Shelter’s free emergency helpline has been hit by a staggering 36,667 calls for housing help since lockdown began on March 23rd, amplifying the heartbreaking fact that a safe home is far from a guarantee for all during the pandemic.
In response to the growing demand for its services, Shelter is calling on employees across the UK to join its first ‘Work for Home’ week. From now until Friday 22nd May, us work-from-homers have the chance to donate, straight to Shelter’s emergency helpline, what would have been spent on a coffee run, takeaway toastie or bus ticket during a day at the office.
‘Since the crisis started, we’ve heard stories from all kinds of people facing terrible housing problems’, explains Andy Parnell, a Shelter helpline adviser. ‘I spoke to Louise*, who is heavily pregnant and being threatened with illegal eviction. And then there’s Sally*, who called our helpline in a state of worry after being told by her local council that she would have to keep sofa-surfing until the Covid situation was over.’
With over half of the charity’s calls over the last two months being directly linked to coronavirus, these stories are far from the exception – so our need to stand in solidarity with those at risk of homelessness is greater than ever.
So are you ready to get involved? This is how your donation will help:
- £4 for your fave supermarket meal-deal could pay for Shelter to help someone facing homelessness through its webchat
- £10.75 for your weekly flat-white fix could help the next person who calls Shelter’s Emergency Housing helpline
- £35 saved from Friday after-work cocktails could help cover legal advice to help someone at risk of eviction
Shelter has supported people at risk of homelessness and kept so many safe as the crisis continues. With our backing, they can do even more.
*To donate, go to www.shelter.org.uk/workforhome
*Case study names have been changed to protect identities