Over Christmas we got some very touching “thank yous” from our beneficiaries and referees. It is really satisfying to read such personal accounts of the difference a small donation of a radio or TV set can make – for people all over the UK.
For instance, this message came in on a Christmas card from a lady living in a homelessness refuge.
“To whom it may concern,
Sending many thanks your way!
A huge thank you for the television for my room – I am in hospital at the moment and to have a TV will make such a big difference upon my return.
Once again thank you,
And a referee from the Together Working for Wellbeing charity, which supports people with mental health issues, sent us a note to say she was “so pleased Mark’s TV will be in time for Christmas!”
We were touched to be told, “you are so helpful, and will change lives and aid the path to recovery and wellbeing.”
I hope that the New Year brings Nicola, Mark and all our beneficiaries strength, good fortune and fulfillment. And our donors can certainly pat themselves on the back for making a difference. A longer message from a referee at St Mungo’s let us know exactly how our TVs help people coming out of homelessness.
St Mungo’s Michael told us,
“The clients who received the loaned television sets were of varying ages and support needs but shared the common factors of social isolation and financial hardship. All five sets were given to formerly homeless clients who were moving out of either a shared hostel environment (where there was a communal television) or were moving directly from the streets to their own independent accommodation – usually a studio or one bed flat.
“Two of the clients suffer from depression and anxiety treat with valium , one has a psychotic mental illness and two have a combination of depression and are also recovering drug / alcohol addicts. I have had feedback from four of these clients. All five clients were also supported in obtaining TV licences, in four out of five cases by the Cash Easy Entry / Payment Card Scheme, the other client paying by direct debit.
“A common theme in the clients’ feedback is just how important a television set has been in alleviating social isolation (statistically, the single most important reason why tenancies for formerly homeless people fail) and assisting with tenancy sustainment – preventing abandonment of accommodation and a return to the streets. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that without provision of a television set, at least one of these five clients would have returned to rough sleeping.”
This feedback warmed my heart, knowing that WaveLength can help lift people out of isolation and poverty just by providing a TV.
Michael also included a quote from a client called, Nicholas, 59, a former rough sleeper who suffers from psychotic episodes. He spent six months rough sleeping in Bristol and London and a further eight months in a hostel for homeless men before being allocated a housing association flat in Lambeth.
Nicholas says, “In the hostel there were always people around to talk to and I could watch (the communal) television in the evenings and at meal times. When I got my flat I suddenly had no-one around again and it was so quiet. I was therefore very happy when I received the television.”
So here’s to making a difference, to the most vulnerable people in our society, with comfort, contact and companionship!
Happy New Year!