Aspire students do what they can to support the needy in Blackpool!

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If you were to ask somebody what their worst fear was, they might reply with something such as: ‘my family disappearing’ or ‘drowning’ or ‘getting stuck on an island with no inhabitants’.

But what is truly terrifying … is becoming homeless. The thought you might never sleep under a safe and secure roof again or not know where your next meal is coming from.

No one actually knows what it feels like until you have experienced it yourself, until you have put yourself in their shoes, until you have slept on the streets in the cold, the dark and the rain.

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Homelessness has always been an issue in Blackpool, but it is now worsening. More people are becoming homeless every year and Blackpool’s homelessness rate is higher than the national average.

Year 8 students at Aspire support the town.Year 8 students at Aspire support the town.
Year 8 students at Aspire support the town.

Blackpool Council (in their “Child Poverty Framework”) states that “The level of poverty throughout the town, which, at 29.5%, is significantly higher than the national average (21.9%).”. Even though this is the national average, this is still “significantly higher” and desperately needs resolving.

There are three different types of homelessness, each comes with its dangers, and Blackpool Aspire Academy are trying to help all types.

The first is rough sleeping where a person is actually sleeping on the streets and open to all elements. This is the most visible and the type most people associate with being homeless.

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The second is hidden homelessness which is where the person is sleeping in an alleyway or is moving about constantly. This is why it is so hard to gather exact statistics, as not all homeless people are that visible to the public.

The third is temporary accommodation where the person is briefly staying in a friend’s house, a B&B, or a hostel. This can also be called ‘sofa surfing’.

Blackpool Aspire Academy does notice the pain that some have to go through. So the year 8 students have come together to try and help those in need. We have all brought in some food that will go towards cooking for the homeless. Homeless people always need our help, but they need it now more than ever; poverty rates have gone up by 50% since 1960-70.

Hardly any people carry around change with them nowadays which is one of the small problems we face, yet it escalates into not being able to give them money.

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If you care to help, buying them a coffee or a sandwich would be largely appreciated by them. However, you buying them that little something could be their only drink of the day. Another problem we face is the social aspect. It can be socially awkward walking up to a begging person for many reasons.

But they are just another person that needs the same things you need, that feels the same things you feel and that thinks the same way you think. So even though they may be hard to approach, the end result is definitely worth it.

After you have completed a kind and good deed, you are rewarded with the feeling that you did something to change someone’s attitude towards society.

Please remind these people that not everything is hopeless, because that is how they feel. Remind them that there are understanding people in the world that give them hope and a reason to live.