Press Release: 13th December 2023
- Homelessness is a health issue. More people are facing the dual life-threatening challenges of homelessness and health issues this winter than in many years.
- Homelessness of all forms is on the rise, and the risk to life is real, as news in the last week has highlighted.
- After a year of rising numbers and damaging comments, life-saving homelessness and health charity Groundswell launches its latest appeal focusing on solidarity with people experiencing homelessness.
- Groundswell provides a unique solution – their award-winning approach is ground-breaking, with nearly 70% of staff with lived experience – meaning solidarity and understanding at the core of their life-saving work.
- British Actor Gethin Anthony (Game of Thrones, Aquarius, Warhol) joins the campaign, highlighting his own health issues around diabetes through a video on his Instagram account (@gethinanthony) following several visits to the charity.
“I started volunteering with Groundswell 2 years ago. Previously I’d been signed off work for 3 years with anxiety, depression and substance misuse. After doing the volunteer training I felt quite anxious, asking myself: ‘can I really support people with their complex health needs?’ In fact, as my confidence grew, I realised how much I had in common with people and how much I could empathise. I’m now a Caseworker on the staff team and I’m doing the best job I’ve ever had.”
Tracey, Groundswell Caseworker
For homelessness charity Groundswell, the people they are supporting are living in unsuitable, unsafe accommodation labelled as ‘temporary’, with no obvious end date. Others enduring the life-threatening freezing temperatures, wet, windy weather the UK has faced over the past week, and cold weather in winter for the next several months. They’re doing this whilst going through chemotherapy, navigating waiting lists, struggling with chronic pain or trying to keep on top of lifelong conditions like diabetes.
Groundswell’s research has found that managing these health conditions whilst also trying to find food, money, warmth is incredibly difficult, which leads to worsening health issues, and in turn a greater toll on the NHS.
Groundswell provides not just relief to the immediate issues, but a solution to the longer-term challenges. And their approach and support is needed now more than ever.
Groundswell’s focus is people. Nearly 70% of Groundswell’s team have been homeless themselves, they’re now providing lifesaving support to others by supporting them to access crucial health appointments. In their new campaign, Groundswell is highlighting the stories and experiences of four of these people, Caseworkers Tracey (above) and Adrian, Jan and Dennis who you can meet here.
British actor Gethin Anthony (Game of Thrones, Aquarius, Warhol) has been getting to know the charity, in the picture above he is meeting Caseworker Adrian. Gethin is asking his followers to support Groundswell this Christmas:
“Groundswell’s work is awe-inspiring. Their committed, informed and integrated approach to helping with the several challenges people experiencing homelessness face makes an incomparable impact. In some ways what they do is simple: They turn up every day, and use their own experience and detailed research to deliver the meaningful assistance people on the streets need to survive. But of course it’s not simple, it takes incredibly hard work and resources and they need our support.”
Quote from Michael, CEO, Groundswell:
“At Groundswell, we know all too well that people’s physical and mental health is seriously affected by homelessness, worsened by the weather – particularly at this time of year. We also know homelessness is on the rise – and banning tents and framing it as a ‘lifestyle choice’ is far from the answer. Instead, we need compassion, understanding and solidarity, and people who have gone through these experiences at the heart, is part of the solutions. More funding, will enable us to do more of all of this, saving more lives”
We can’t continue this work without donations. More people are becoming homeless, so more people need our help. These rising costs are impacting the charity too. Will you stand in solidarity with people affected by homelessness this Christmas? Please donate today.
- £8 could pay for a person experiencing homelessness to travel to a health appointment
- £34 could pay for a counselling session for two of our team who have experienced homelessness
- £42 could pay for a Caseworker to help someone access a mental health assessment
- £105 could pay for a Caseworker to be by someone’s side during a life-saving chemotherapy appointment.