Homeless in the UK a ‘First World Crisis’
• Average death of a homeless person is just 47 years old
• 3569 people sleeping rough on any given night
• 30% increase since 2015 and double since 2010
‘Homelessness is a crisis. It is devastating and should not happen to anyone’, declares Crisis, as they launch their Christmas campaign to highlight the tragic rise in the number of people who are classed as homeless in the UK. Earlier this week, it was reported that a young man was allegedly ejected from a McDonald’s restaurant in inner-city Dublin for being homeless. While McDonald’s have issued a statement that they operate “an inclusive policy of welcoming all customers into their restaurants, including members of the homeless community, and that they are investigating the incident”, it has highlighted the stark rise in homeless figures.
The latest report from Crisis suggests that welfare reforms have had a significant impact on homelessness, with over two-thirds of cases relating to changes in benefits. Cuts to welfare payments have led to victims of poor mental health and domestic abuse being treated as non-priority cases. Harsh restrictions on local authority housing schemes have meant that over half of applicants who ask for assistance are rejected.
Crisis at Christmas are urging for volunteers to assist during the upcoming holiday season. Reporting instances of homelessness to organisations such as Streetlink can help combat the issue of rough sleepers. Urge your local MP to back the Homeless Reduction Bill, a law which will put greater emphasis on local authorities to assist those in danger of becoming homeless. For households who fail to meet the standards for priority cases, local authorities must provide emergency accommodation for up to 56 days.
For a deeper understanding of the situation, please take look at the film ‘Parked’ – a film which investigates the harsh realities of the homeless situation. Then read ‘Parked: A Freewheeling Review’, written by our editor Alison Jane Reid.
For more information on how you can assist, visit the Crisis at Christmas website – http://www.crisis.org.uk/pages/christmas.html
‘The Future of Home-grown Energy’
Competition between solar energy and fossil fuels are increasing. Due to the dramatic fall in prices of wind turbines and solar panels, the future seems bright for renewable, clean energy. It’s estimated that by the year 2050, over half of Europeans will be using their own sources of power through the likes of smart technology. “Home-grown” energy is the next big thing.
While the EU commission places an important emphasis on ordinary citizens participating in the movement in order for it to be a success, some law reform is imperative to make this happen. Overturning policies which support the big players in the energy market is essential to create the conditions for clean energy suppliers to enter into the game. This will instigate an open market for renewable energy, making it more accessible to local communities.
By reminding individuals and local businesses of the advantages in using their own sources of energy, through emphasising the benefits of sourcing their own power along with the agency that goes along with planning their own energy usage, there is an assurance that all hands will be on deck in the fight towards a green, renewable energy future.
Young People Tune in to Planet Earth 2 and David Attenborough
BBC have announced a surprise rise in the number of young people watching nature programmes such as Planet Earth 2.
It’s been revealed that nature-themed television programs, such as ‘Planet Earth 2’ are proving to be more popular than ‘The X Factor’ amongst the 16-34 demographic. Records have shown that an estimated 1.8 million young viewers tuned into ‘Planet Earth’ as opposed to the 1.4 million who watched ‘X Factor’.
David Attenborough has commented on the news, crediting the show’s sudden popularity down to an improvement in the technology used to film the show, and a reconfiguration of compassion for the welfare of the planet. He says young viewers are simply “reconnecting with a planet whose beauty is blemished and whose health is failing”.
Photo Credit BBC – A Jaguar Patrols a river, looking for Food. Photographer Jane Napper.
Photo Credit- an Indri Lemur in the rainforests of Madagascar. Photographer – Tom Hugh-Jones