Blackpool United in helping

Tonight we’ve spent a good few hours on the streets of the town observing the work of volunteers who came out on a blustery and wet December evening to feed and clothe those in Blackpool who need a hand up. The event was organised by United Blackpool and Mark Butcher UK homelessness Campaigner.
There were over 50 people motivated enough to get themselves out of their homes (some coming from as far afield as Blackburn) to help out before Christmas. Local businesses have donated time, money, goods and FOOD to help us to organise this event tonight.

One of the local businesses that we would like to thank for putting a great effort into tonight are Alpha Car Collections who have driven over 115 miles around the fylde coast in order to collect donations from people who couldn’t drop goods off at local collection points. 

As you can see – they brought a decent amount of donated kit with them.
Yes – the car on the back of the truck is full of donations too.

A special mention also goes to New Local Business Burgerhain. The man behind this business, a former Para – donated hundreds of pounds of his own money in order to stock up his own van which he then worked in tirelessly all evening serving burgers and brews for no charge whatsoever to anyone who wanted feeding. He chose to feed other people for free rather than work his own van as he normally would be doing. 
Honourable mentions also go to Trade Chem for facilitating as a drop off point for donated goods and for Studio 3 Events Sound Vision for helping bring a van along to sort store and distribute donations from and of course Ian Plant for allowing us to use his car park on leopold grove (next to winter gardens) in order to host this event. A massive thanks also goes out to all those who have donated items to help with this cause. It was mentioned many times tonight that the small random acts of kindness by many people has helped to turn the tide in this town already.
Somewhere along the line – the police got the wrong end of the stick and thought this was going to be a Paris style yellow vest protest so they sent 12 officers and 2 horses (in the immediate vicinity) to ensure that We didn’t get out of hand. (only 2 of them actually got out of their vehicle for a look round after 2 hours sitting waiting for nothing to happen)
All in all tonight was a staggering success – We’ve heard testimony from former addicts who have been helped in the last 2 weeks to break their bad habits and start choosing better things for themselves – All thanks to these volunteers who have been out tonight (and every Thursday night for the past who knows how long) persisting in offering help and support to those who need it to get off the streets.
One chap we spoke to tonight told us how he had been to rehab 3 years ago and had managed to get his life back on track but a single drink of lager in the pub with his pals was enough to set the wheels in motion and landed him back on the streets making the wrong decisions – choosing to be numb from his issues rather than face them sober.
He’s now 5 days clean from any substances and – more than anything – you could see that he was relishing the chance to have a normal conversation with people about making a difference in his life. 5 days ago – no-one in the street was willing to give him the time of day let alone discuss social issues with him in a cogent and informed manner. He’s in accommodation now and is receiving the support and help he needs THANKS to the volunteers here tonight.
The point we want to make here is that – It hasn’t taken a lot for us 50 or so people tonight to get together – collect probably a tonne of clothes and food etc, distribute what we could to those that needed it and then move the rest of the stuff to amazing graze where it can be further put to good use. Imagine what the entire town could achieve if everyone chipped in a little time or a little money to help get grass roots social reform on track to improve our local community.
Imagine what 100 million pounds of funding could have done to make a difference. Blackpool narrowly missed out on this funding just last week due to “not having enough homeless people” in official figures – however people we have spoken tonight think that the council have got the figures wrong.  
The independent headcount by these volunteers had found 38 people living on the streets
The councils figures reflected that there were only 10 rough sleepers on the streets of Blackpool with 10 being listed as having no fixed abode (same thing) and 14 of whom were thought to be in accommodation leaving only 6 extra that the volunteers had found themselves. Are the figures reported correctly and classified properly? Surely no fixed abode is the same as being homeless?
Forget your class differences or race differences – there are human beings in your local community that need your help. Will you step up and join us?
 Watch our documentary on the nights events. and subscribe to our YouTube channel