With this in mind, I reached out to local organisations called the Red Bag co and the Homeless Outreach which provide food, drinks and basic necessities to the homeless in Birmingham City Centre. Having lived in Birmingham all my life, it is clear that homelessness is a pressing issue that is simply not getting the recognition it deserves. Walking through the city, it's hard to believe that among the array of glamorous buildings and establishments, the streets are as close to a home as many have. As I learnt whilst working with them, these people are forced to sleep rough in the doorways of such buildings, alleyways and parks and beg just for the prospect of a meal, all while people like you and me carry on with our lives. It's dehumanizing. These organisations send volunteers into the city to help them, the Homeless Outreach once a month and the Red Bag co once a week.
With the Red Bag co, I have been joining them once a fortnight on their own outreach programme. Similar to the Homeless Outreach, the Red Bag co distributes donations however they do this by travelling through the city centre on foot and giving out aid to the homeless directly. It has been an incredible privilege to be able to join them on this journey for it is such a simple but vital way in which we can help those that truly need it. Last Sunday whilst on a walk, I met a disabled man who had been on the streets for a few months. After talking to him, his eyes brightened for, as he explained, hundreds of people had simply walked past him and we were the first to have even acknowledged him. After giving him a meal and some snacks and a hot drink, he couldn't stop saying how grateful he was. As it was a cold night, we offered him a coat.
I am very happy to say I have been asked to be an official ambassador for the Red Bag co and I am so thankful that I have an opportunity to change peoples lives for the better. Mr and Miss Birmingham is more than just a title and it is more than just a beauty pageant. It's a way young people can represent their city in positive ways and do their utmost to aid others in any way they can.
The Red Bag co go on walks every Sunday! If you wish to take part or donate anything to there cause, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Drop off points are available in Walsall and also Birmingham!