Every act of kindness is a beacon of hope, but in the face of our current Covid crisis, it can be a much-needed expression of solidarity too. To share and celebrate this community spirit Turning Tides is kicking off UnselfieMay on Giving Tuesday, today Tuesday 5th May.
UnselfieMay is asking for ‘Unselfie’ photos to be shared on social media throughout the month of May. Moira Gardner, our Community Groups Fundraiser explains: ‘#UnselfieMay is a lovely idea that plays with the idea of a ‘selfie’. We are asking people to hold a piece of paper in front of their face explaining why they support Turning Tides and why they care about local homeless men and women. Then take a photo and share! We intend to share these messages with the homeless people we are supporting and also with our dedicated key workers who are frontline throughout this crisis. These ‘Unselfie’ messages are a fantastic way to let them all know they are not alone.’
Claire Halford-Dale, Advice and Assessment Worker, loves the idea: ‘Hearing about why people support our work and how deeply they care about homeless people is really motivating and helps me and my colleagues to power on during these very difficult times. Knowing we are all in it together – helping to save and transform lives – is worth so much right now.’
The demand on our services, and in particular our frontline staff, is accelerating at speed. As the crisis deepens, growing numbers of people are becoming homeless. Prior to Covid-19 we already supported some 200 homeless men and women in 21 projects across West Sussex. Now, we are also supporting nearly 250 further individuals who are staying in temporary accommodation as a result of the Government’s recent ‘Everyone In’ initiative – ensuring that homeless people are ‘brought in’ to protect them from the virus.
At the same time as the need for our services increases, our charity’s fundraising income is also hugely reduced due to the virus. We are facing as much as a 50% shortfall in fundraising income and this pressure led to the launch of our Emergency Appeal last month.
Ruth Poyner, Head of Fundraising and Communications explains: ‘Our Emergency Appeal asks for donations and we need financial support more than ever – but it is also true that kindness and solidarity and good old-fashioned community spirit are so precious at the moment. We are continually uplifted by the generous words and actions of our supporters. We hope that the public will enter into the spirit of #UnselfieMay and share, in their own words, messages of support so that we can pass those messages on to the people who most need to hear them.
There are four simple steps to join in with #UnselfieMay:
- Write on a piece of paper why you choose to support the charity, starting with, ‘I support Turning Tides because…’
- Take an ‘UNSELFIE’ of yourself holding the paper in front of your face
- Share your picture on social media using #UnselfieMay
- Tag @TurningTidesOrg in your picture