Housing and homelessness charity Shelter is appealing for help to fund its free helpline after seeing a surge in demand, with nearly 500,000 calls received in the past year alone.
In a sign of the deepening housing crisis, the number of calls to the charity’s helpline – which is part-funded by M&S – has increased by 50,000, with a call now received every 30 seconds. Worryingly, nearly one in four cases dealt with by the Shelter helpline in the past year were people who were homeless or within 28 days of losing their home.
Fifty years since Shelter was first founded, more people are turning to the charity desperate for help. Recent analysis by the charity revealed over 120,000 children in Britain will wake up homeless on Christmas morning – the highest level in nearly a decade. That’s why Shelter is calling on the public to help support its frontline advisers meet the demand.
5% of every sale from M&S’s ‘Food On The Move’ festive range goes directly towards the helpline and funds one in five of the calls it answers. Since the partnership began in 2005, the money raised has helped thousands of families to find and keep a home. Buying a festive lunch from M&S is an easy way to support Shelter this Christmas and will make a real difference to struggling families across the country.
Nadeem Khan, a helpline adviser for Shelter, said: “Every day at Shelter we speak to people faced with losing their home but when a parent calls us, desperate to keep a roof over their child’s head, nothing is more heart-breaking.
“Our team of expert advisers work 365 days a year to make sure that no-one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own. If it wasn’t for the money raised by M&S customers, thousands of calls for help would go unanswered.
“That’s why we’re calling on people to buy their lunch from M&S’s festive ‘food on the move’ range to help raise hundreds of thousands of pounds and together, be there for people who need us. Something as simple as buying a sandwich this Christmas really could be the difference between a family losing their home and keeping it.”