One Love

For our first official blog post I have approached the first person I came into contact with when I wanted to find out more about helping the homeless. That person was Arif “Jedsy” Voraji one of the core team of “Help The Homeless, Needy and Vulnerable in Leicester” and here is his interview:

How or why did you get first involved in voluntary work?

I hated seeing people struggling when it was so easy to provide a little respite and aid in their hour of need.

How long have you been involved?

Since Nov 2014. I started with a bulk buy of 20 pairs of jeans and it grew from there. Videos and pictures that we used with permission helped us grow from day one

And how did you go about starting the One Love food kitchen?

The food kitchen started when one of the Help the Homeless volunteers wanted to do more than clothing – A lad called Mohammed. He started One Love Leicester in 2015. He has since left Leicester and needed to leave it in reliable hands therefore I came in and it’s a well oiled machine now as the videos show.

Compared to when it first started how have things changed?

We seem to have got busier as it’s a well-known one stop shop for a lot of our users now homeless or otherwise challenged. – Food to eat immediately – Food to takeaway – Sandwiches galore – cold drinks – hot drinks – cakes and deserts – Chocolates – Warm clothing – sleeping bags – Tents for genuine rough sleepers – moral support and guidance – Medics on site too It’s a all in one assistance networking event.

How many people on average came when you first started?

Between 50-65 but now we have got around 90-100. We have hit on the busier days.

Apart from the obvious getting everyone out of poverty and off the streets – what would your one wish be for the future – either of the work you do or the world in general – your choice.

That the need for our kind of groups and organisations disappears as the issue of rough sleeping is eradicated.

Anything else you would like to add at all?

That anyone who sees our posts and videos share them to raise awareness nationwide and try and do a little bit in their own cities etc. We are here for any tips, advice or guidance one may require.

Many thanks Arif for taking the time to talk to us. You can find out more about the Facebook page and the wonderful work that comes off the back of it via the link above.

Right To Be Heard - Our Story

I am Georgie. There is nothing special about me. I am what you might call an average kind of person – married with four children and a dog. I do the typical mum things taking the children to their clubs, helping my husband run our business and do the usual things you would expect from the average person. However I have developed a passion for trying to help the homeless where I can.

In August 2017 my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a meal in the restaurant where we had our first date and afterwards we went to buy a present for ourselves from Highcross Shopping Centre.

On the way from the restaurant to the Highcross it dawned on me that I had walked straight past a young man in the doorway of one of the local stores. He had quietly been asking if any passers by had any spare change. I am ashamed to say it didn’t even register he was there – until I heard him say “I hope you have a good evening”. That struck me hard and as I was shopping I felt worse and worse as I had basically ignored him – as had everyone else – and he still wished the best for me and them. On the way back to the car we diverted back to him and gave him some money towards food or a hot drink and it was like a light had gone on in my mind. His smile lit up my heart, his gratitude sparking my mind into action.

This gentleman who had nothing, who was being ignored by everyone walking past him, still had a heart, manners and wanted the best for people. His entire demeanour made me want to help wherever I could and he is the person I think of whenever I am feeling down. He helped me realise that, even with nothing you are still someone and deserve to be treated as such – with kindness and respect.

Since then my involvement has grown, I have collected items, I have helped at the food kitchen, I have stopped and chatted to those who are sitting huddled in the street and, during all that, I have discovered that there is a need for basic information for members of the general public who want to help but may not have the time, finances or energy to actively be involved. This is why Right To Be Heard was born – to lift the voices of those who need help up to those who can offer help by means of this information website and, along with my husband helping me, I hope to fill that need

It is not designed to replace any of the in depth sites out there. They do an extremely important job of holding the much more detailed information needed to help the homeless, vulnerable and needy off the streets and supported in the long run with issues such as benefits and rights. We are hoping to act as a gateway to all those resources and to bring all the various groups offering help together under one umbrella. We’ll be bringing you stories from behind the scenes, of the acts of kindness and the events and drives that take place to raise awareness, funds and supplies.

Together we can give a voice to the voiceless.