At the heart of A Proper Ordinary Miracle, is the belief that if people come together over their differences and shared experiences, it's the most powerful way to make change. Sometimes it can be hard to know how to directly help someone in need when it feels like a problem bigger than us.
TEAM’s previous partnership with Counterpoint Arts on Go Tell the Bees created the 7 Simple Acts for a better future. This is why we're inspired to present the 7 Small Steps, to make a big impact on homelessness.
We want this production to have a positive effect on the community, by encouraging compassionate and creative action so we can better relate to our fellow humans. Everyone who lives in Wrexham, or anywhere else, deserves to feel at home.
Give your time
Volunteering for a charity or social enterprise provides vital support for frontline services. You could help organise an event, sort through donations, give presentations to community groups, run a marathon, or attend a fundraising quiz… whatever time you are able to give is a useful way of being there for someone.
- Helping Our Homeless Wales has a team of volunteers who street walk to provide food, clothes and essential items, helping people on the streets to stay safe, warm and well.
- The Wallich have a variety of avenues to suit your skills allowing you to best contribute to helping out in your local community.
- Llamau host events like Sleepouts to help raise awareness of and money for those in need, asking people to give up their bed for one night in recognition of - rather than a replication of - homelessness.
Lend an ear
When we encounter someone in need and spare a moment to really stop and listen, we create a moment of peace and comfort - it’s a simple act of love. Taking the time to listen, even if only for a few minutes, lets them know they’re not alone, their existence is valuable and their voices matter.
Here are some organisations that would really benefit from you lending an ear…
- Llamau is a helpline for young people who are homeless. Being available to listen on an evening or a weekend is a really beneficial way to volunteer.
- Samaritans provide emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope or at risk of suicide throughout the UK
- Hafal is a member-led charity supporting people with mental health problems – with an emphasis on those with a serious mental illness – and their carers and families.
Donations are a great way to pay it forward. Socks, sanitary towels or sunscreen, there are places in your local area which can distribute directly to those who need it.
If you have money, why not consider a regular donation to a homeless charity? You could also give money directly, without judgement, giving people the opportunity to spend it as they wish.
Benthyg Cymru is Wales’ Library of Things where you can share knowledge, skills and things like gardening tools and camping equipment at various hubs across the country
- For every copy of Big Issue, you buy £2 goes to the vendor. In return, you get a publication that shares articles, personal stories, poetry, artwork and more to help you learn about the lived experiences of homeless people.
- If you’re able to, you can even share your home, for example to a young person preparing for independent living through supported lodgings.
Learning is a lifelong experience. It enables us to grow from shared experiences and build the confidence and skills needed to thrive. Continuous learning opens our minds and changes our attitudes by building on what we already know. The more we learn, the better we get at seeing more sides of the same situation, helping us understand more deeply.
Here are some of our recommendations...
- Dark Days, a remarkable documentary by British director Marc Singer about the homeless population living under New York City.
The Homeless Problem, a series of videos which explore the reasons that lead to people finding themselves on the street and the difficulties in supporting them.
- Baby, It's Cold Outside, a podcast finding humour in the darkness whilst hitting home the impact of homelessness in the UK.
Point Made, a podcast created by young people, for all people covering the topics that mean the most to them, from mental health to the benefits system.
Down and Out, an examination of modern homelessness, which asks how we, as a society, might one day change our practices and attitudes so that one day we could bring homelessness to an end.
Kicked Out by Sassafras Lowrey brings together the voices of current and former homeless LGBTQ youth of the USA and tells the forgotten stories of some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
Cardboard Citizens create work with and for people who experience homelessness, inequity, or poverty. They provide theatre/art training that explores, interrogates, and challenges injustices.
Wrexham’s One Love Choir is for people who have experienced homelessness, addiction, mental health issues, or who are otherwise vulnerable or marginalised.
There is power in the pen and we should never underestimate how effective a letter, a signature on a petition or an email can be. Sending a letter or email might seem like a small act, but when sent at the right moment or in large volume, they can have a huge impact.
- Sign The Big Issue’s Big Futures Campaign which calls on the Government to break the cycle of poverty and protect future generations. They have three demands:
- Decent and affordable homes for all
- End low wages and invest in young people
- Millions of green, well-paid jobs
- Take action to defend human rights and help those at risk with Amnesty International UK. They work to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. As a global movement of over ten million people, they’re the world’s largest grassroots human rights organisation.
Homelessness comes in many forms - you might be sofa surfing, needing to leave your home due to difficult relationships or safety concerns, or it could be that you are a care-leaver and the system has failed you. It could be because of financial pressure due to job loss, debt, or the rising cost of living. Surveys suggest that over a third of households in the UK are only one paycheck away from homelessness.
It’s important to understand how anyone can be sucked into that cycle and how it can be to break it if there isn’t the right support around you. Not only that, but knowing your rights when it comes to renting, landlords and eviction is a key way of planning for yourself or helping somebody else.
- The Tenant Participation Advisory Service works with landlords and tenants in Wales to help shape housing services.
- Housing issues will always arise and therefore you need to know your rights and responsibilities. Citizens Advice Bureau can offer advice on everything related to renting or buying a home or just finding somewhere to live.
- Shelter Cymru helps thousands of people each year across Wales who are affected by the housing emergency by offering free, confidential and independent advice.
The relationship between the brain and the gut is crucial to looking after mood, memory, language and sleep. The nutrition of a home-cooked meal with vegetables and grains is a great alternative to fast food, which is super important for the immune system, especially over colder months.
Foodbanks are a brilliant way to help contribute and if you are in need of a food bank yourself, there is a lot of help and advice available...
- The Trussell Trust are working to stop UK hunger and poverty and are a great source of information and support.
- FareShare is the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors. They take good quality surplus food from right across the food industry and get it straight to frontline charities and community groups.