So, yesterday’s despair is over. Today we start again. That’s how it goes. You get knocked down, you get back up again. Just like Chumbawumba said.

I needed to be doing things today. Good things. Things that help redress the balance a little bit. I’m going to share them with you, not because I’m a big head (well, I am, but that’s not why), but because you can do them too, and if it helped me, and it did, it might help you.

My mum and dad cleared out all their old winter coats and scarves and gave them to me to do something useful with. I’m dropping them off tomorrow with a lady who volunteers to help the homeless, and she’s going to distribute them this weekend. When I asked on my community group on Facebook there were loads of places who wanted/needed them in my local area. There will be in yours.

I went to my local Aldi where I did my food bank shop for the week with my mum who has decided to join me. This is brilliant. We both shop, I deliver. I’m happy to. There’s a drop off point at Oscar’s school so it’s easy for me. When I talked about it on Facebook earlier lots of people gave me more brilliant ideas for things that people need that don’t always end up in food banks.

  • Washing up liquid
  • Washing powder
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • deodorant
  • Toilet rolls
  • Toothpaste/toothbrushes
  • Sanitary towels/Tampax
  • Foods that don’t need an oven like Super Noodles and Pot Noodles and Cupasoups for those people who don’t have more than a kettle.

A lovely friend also suggested emergency packs for homeless people that she makes up in ziplock bags. They contain things like

  • A pair of gloves
  • An energy bar
  • Toothpaste/toothbrush
  • Comb
  • Plasters
  • Hand sanitiser

She keeps one in her car so that if she ever sees someone in need she can get it easily. I thought it was a great idea.

Aldi is a fantastic place to get a lot for a little. So is Wilkinsons. Pound shops are great and so are cash and carry or whole sale shops like Makro or Costco if you’re looking to make your money go further. And it doesn’t have to be a whole shop, you can donate whatever you have to spare and it will still be better than not donating at all.

So if you don’t already donate, you could. If you do already, could you tweak your list to supply a want in your local food bank? Could you give a lift to a friend who might want to donate too but who doesn’t drive? When I got home I posted in my local community group on Facebook to say that if anyone in the roads around my house would like to donate but can’t get to a food bank I will take the donations when I go. You could do that too.

After my shopping trip I talked to my friend, Lizzie, who wants to save her local library from being shut down, and we cooked up the beginnings of a plan. When it’s ready to be launched I will point you in the right direction. If you can help, that would be amazing.

This evening I was still brooding over the food bank thing. I read something a few weeks ago about someone who suggested creating advent food boxes for people at Christmas. Rather than starting on December 1st you would have to start earlier so that your donation could be processed before Christmas, but the idea is that for every day of Advent, you add something to a Christmas box that will make someone’s Christmas that little bit more festive and then donate it.  I love the idea, but because it’s me and I can’t leave well enough alone, I decided that just me doing it wasn’t enough. I’ve started a Facebook Page, focussed on Leicester, because that’s where I live, but open to anyone who wants to join me in this project. We can inspire each other, we can talk about Christmas in a way that doesn’t want to make us smack ourselves in the head with a hammer.

It’s a public page and anyone is welcome to join. Or pinch the idea and create your own.

It’s not a lot, but it’s not sitting at home shouting at people and it’s not hating people and it’s not giving into despair, and that will do nicely.




11 responses to “Chumbawumba

  1. Thank you Katy – once again you bring light into the darkness. I am going to post this on my wall and also see if I can get the others in my office interested in some of these ideas. I am also going to add some of these ideas to my donations to food banks.

  2. Reblogged this on corvia and commented:
    Wonderful positive ideas from Katy.

  3. Firsty, it’s great to find some else who has heard of Chumbawumba!
    But chiefly, thank you for providing a positive focus for the rage and despair which is ever present but came to a head again yesterday after watching I Daniel Blake.
    There is a feeling of paralysis in the face of the power of the state. By breaking down positive actions into simple steps that are achievable by all of us, you are helping to re-empower people. Thank you.

  4. Thank you! I woke up this morning despondent at always being on the ‘opposite side’. Wondering how I’m going to process this. Asked the universe and then opened your blog. Enough said x

  5. You are lovely!

    Jan sometimes takes homeless people into the supermarket and buys them a sandwich and a drink instead of giving them money.

  6. Replacing hammer gently into its thingy on the wall in our recycling/tools for DIY projects area. Great ideas today for thinking about Christmas – thank you!

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