Friday, 6 February 2015

Raising For Richard.

After coming back from a rucksack drop in Cheltenham. (Remember a couple of months back I posted about filling up bags of stuff for the homeless? Well, that.)
I met three people that evening, Jo, John & Richard. Richard surprised me, although I don't know why, I like to think I have an open mind but I wasn't expecting a philosopher with multiple degrees under his belt who used to be a top Michelin star chef. We chatted for quite a while. He gets to go to the library for an hour each day. He's okay for food as people are actually very generous and he told me to save my money when I offered to buy him his dinner as the cafe around the corner provides it most evenings. I asked him what would really make a difference to his life and he said a laptop. A laptop? Not my first choice if I'd have to guess, but he said he makes meal plans for restaurants and gets emails from old clients asking for his help and an hour just isn't enough time to get something together before he has to leave the library again.
He told us his story as to why he was on the street. Yes, he does actually sleep there too, he doesn't go to a hostel. He was reading Tolstoy. Tolstoy!
We decided to help Richard out! Starting up a Yimby fundraising page (here) to raise £500 to buy him a cheap laptop/bag/mifi stick with any extra going towards a roof over his head and wifi time. It reached well over the target in the first night - so thank you very much each and every one of you!! 
This will make a remarkable difference to Richard & help get him back on his feet!! We are currently at a WHOPPING £1200! How ruddy marvellous!

For any of you interested in what we did and you'd like to do it yourselves, we packed a plain, cheap rucksack with the following:
Wash kit
First aid kit
Lip balm
Ear plugs
Floor mat
Fleece blanket
Writing paper & envelopes
Wind-up torch

If you choose to go out to deliver yourselves please go in pairs. Also if you pop a note inside the bag saying what is inside and where it came from then if anyone wonders where they got it from they can produce it.
There are organisations that distribute them for you too, like The Rucksack Project.

It's really bloody cold out there. Let's try and make a difference xx

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