At this time of year with temperatures often reaching below zero at night, most of us go home to comfortable surroundings and eat our tea. Do we take this for granted? Yes. Do we remind ourselves that we are fortunate? fortunate to have a job, a home and most importantly people around us that care? The answer is probably no, no we don’t, we see to our children, switch on Netflix or maybe have a bath.

So when we look at our towns and cities across the UK, it really is sad and humbling to see an ever growing number of homeless people with the sole objective of surviving. Day by day these people fight to keep warm, fight to scrape enough money together to get an instant coffee, they search for buildings that will keep the icy wind at bay, beg for a bed in an overcrowded shelter and rely on the kindness of strangers to maybe get given a sandwich and that would be a good day. People end up homeless for a variety of reasons, for most it’s sheer bad luck and being dealt a very bad hand financially or emotionally, we even have a high number of homeless ex-servicemen who have fought for our country and return with no home to speak of and often harbouring high levels of PTSD. We all remember the heroics of the homeless guy Steve that saved lives after the attack on the Manchester Arena back in May without a thought for himself or his safety.

Based on Great George Street in Leeds, we see far too many people in this unfortunate situation, but luckily there are incredible and selfless organisations such as “Homeless Leeds Support Group. Street Kitchens UK” which works with smaller charities across our city to offer these people some respite and care.

This week we  were lucky enough to have been invited to volunteer for “Homeless Leeds Support Group” who give donated items to those that need it and provide them with a hot meal.  It was tough but worth every minute to make a difference to someone’s day. These guys need to be treated with the respect they deserve they need compassion not judgement.

With the current freezing temperatures, the Leeds employees voluntarily gave their own cash to buy warm jumpers, socks, gloves, hats, hand and feet warmers, tents and sleeping bags and as a business will match the total raised, so we can buy another batch before Christmas.

Thanks for reading and on your next lunch break or commute home when you see a homeless person, give them a smile, a couple of quid and maybe your scarf, a tiny sacrifice for you, the world of difference to them.

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