This year, I haven’t been as ratty as usual about the whole Festering Season thing. It still annoys me, but I’ve been able to ignore most of the retail bullshit around the season (due to not visiting shops as much, primarily) and so on, and avoided most of the raw sentimentality and commercialism that hangs around the entire process.
However, I’ve also been looking more at some of the charity stuff that’s being done – particularly for the homeless.
One of those things – and one I’ve contributed too, both this year and in previous ones – is the “Reserve A Place” scheme by Crisis. Paying £26.08 per place reserves a place for a homeless person at one of the Crisis centres over Christmas, along with support, health checks, and a bundle of other things. I’m all for that, to be honest.
The other one, only announced yesterday, is a slightly different thing, but still pretty brilliant. London’s Euston Station, which would usually be closed for Christmas Day, is instead going to become a homeless shelter for the day, filled with decorations and tables for 200 rough sleepers. I think that’s pretty fucking brilliant, to make use of that sheer space in a different but decent way.
It’s being organised as a collaboration between St Mungos and Streets Kitchen, with about 30 Network Rail staff also involved.
To me, as always, I think these are the things that should be promoted, that are what the whole Festering Season should be about. I truly hope they’re both successful ventures, this year and into the future.