BAGS OF KINDNESS

Whether it stems from a fear of the cold or a belief that no one should be alone at Christmas, winter time makes me feel far more charitable than the rest of the year.

Although I am, of course, aware that there are still people in need in the height of Summer, I seem to give more money to charity as we head towards December, am more likely to stop and talk to a person in need on the street and I am certainly more likely to promote projects such as this one. And being a feminist and an admittedly seasonal charitable person, this drive for ‘Bags of Kindness’ is an opportunity to help sent from heaven. And it’s so easy to do. So whether it’s Christmas at yours this year which means that you’re unable to put your hours in at your local Crisis centre or whether you don’t have the cash to donate to your chosen charity, I have a solution. And it comes in the form of a rucksack filled with kindness. Kindness in the shape of sanitary towels and a toothbrush no less, but kindness all the same.

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Unless you live on Mars, (in which case, why are you reading this?) you will know that there are thousands of vulnerable women sleeping rough on the streets of London and across the UK and that they need your help. These women have wound up on the streets, not out of choice, but because of abusive relationships, familial fall outs or a series of unfortunate events. But their struggle doesn’t stop at finding some spare change for food or somewhere dry to sleep. The streets are a difficult place to be and – often – it’s only a matter of time before vulnerable women end up sex working to survive. And some of them with children to protect. This is not only dangerous, but mentally damaging for the mother- and even the child.

So what can you do to help?

Although it is impossible for us to drag each and every single one of these women away from their dangerous circumstances, the amazing women at The Kindness Project have come up with a way of helping those women in need in ways that we take for granted. The idea is that we each buy a rucksack (or even rucksacks) for these vulnerable women and then fill them with everything – from moisturiser and knickers to sleeping bags and socks – to make their life that little bit easier over the coming winter months. There is a Facebook group that you can join that tells you exactly what to put into the bags and exactly what not to put into the bags and it’s important that you follow these guidelines. Where and when to drop your bags off is also included here, so make sure you click.

Whichever way I seem to look at the moment – on the news, in the papers and online – there seems to be violence, torment or just something negative for people to shout about, so let’s give kindness a voice this Christmas and get this female-focused project off the ground. I have never seen girl power like it. Except for the Spice Girls. And they would definitely donate a rucksack or two.

See you at the drop off point!

The Twenties

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In my final year of secondary school I was asked where I’d like to be in ten years time. I had pictured that, at 25, I’d have a tall, dark, handsome non-stranger and a job that didn’t involve autism and nits. Now, almost halfway through this decade of not-achieving-that, I’m contemplating exactly where these ideals were lost and when it became wrong to desire a pristine portrait of a life?

A 24, I feel a little too old to be getting with randoms in clubs, a little too poor to be dating all the time and a little too young to be contemplating picket fences and the perks of Peter Jones. But at the same time, I want babies eventually and that clock is, believe it or not, ticking. This probably means that I should at least be attempting to find The One before my face crumples with age; but where? Everyone is far too drunk in bars in Brixton for me to decide whether they’re going to be the love of my life and I’m having too much of a good time to care.

I look at my friends who are blissfully in love and can’t wait for them to get hitched. But the thought of me being more than a pissed bridesmaid makes me want to throw up in my own hands. In fact no, if it scared me that much, I wouldn’t be writing this post. It’s the very fact that I don’t want for either which is the problem.

And that’s when I realise: It’s just not a priority of mine right now.

Gone are the days of Mrs Bennet frantically marrying off her daughters to men in mansions; I’ve moved into the twenties which means that I actually own my own uterus. I’m allowed to be decadent, free and drunk; for now at least.

Until I absolutely have to, I’m going to stop worrying about it.

And worst comes to worst?  I’ll freeze some eggs.

Too much info?

Never.