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Tim Farron writes… “Help me to help the fight against homelessness”

November 17, 2016 2:46 PM
By Tim Farron MP in Liberal Democrat Voice

Cathy Come Home

Cathy Come Home

This week is the 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking BBC film Cathy Come Home, the gripping and controversial 1966 film about poverty and homelessness.

It tells the story of Cathy and Reg, a couple with three young children who find their life spiralling into poverty when Reg loses his job. Cathy is left homeless and her children are taken away.

The film had a profound impact on me as a teenager. I watched it and decided to join Shelter. Then I realised I could do even more by getting involved in politics.

Although in the last 50 years there have been some changes, many of the same issues remain. We should be ashamed that in the 21st Century there are still people sleeping on the streets; many people are refused the support they need and are simply being let down.

There is quite simply a lack of political will to end this crisis, and the Government's approach of reducing council homes and failing to build enough homes is making it worse.

I want to see real action to tackle the housing crisis, improve mental health services, and to properly fund homeless charities and local authorities so they can provide support.

A decent, safe, secure and affordable home is essential to being a part of society and the community you live in. It allows you to make a living, and keeps you warm and secure, yet most of us take this for granted. I stress again that it is outrageous that homelessness still continues to rise every year in this country. It needs to be tackled.

This is why next week I'll be participating in the charity Centrepoint's 2016 London Sleepout, swapping my bed for a sleeping bag to help give homeless young people a future. By sleeping out on a cold and damp November night, I hope to raise awareness and money to support Centrepoint's work with those who face this ordeal on a daily basis.

Centrepoint is the UK's leading charity for homeless young people, and along with its partners it supports 9,000 young people every year. They help 16-25 year olds into a safe place to live, give them a health assessment and plan support for their individual mental and physical health needs. We start them on a path to more independence and a job.

A team of members are joining me for this - will you join us?

The event takes place on the night of 24th November at the Greenwich Peninsula and you can register here.

Add yourself to 'Team Tim' to join my group of enthusiastic Lib Dem anti-homelessness campaigners!

And up until lunchtime tomorrow (Friday 18th November), you can get £10 discount on the registration fee by entering the code GREENWICH10.

If you can't attend but want to support the team and I, you can still use the 'Give Now' button on my fundraising page

Many thanks for all your support!

Tim

* Tim Farron is Leader of the Liberal Democrats, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale and a former President of the Liberal Democrats.