Underneath the Glamour of the Royal Wedding Simmered UK’s Homeless Issue
The Royal Wedding came and went on May 19th with lots of glamour and over 10 million people tuning in to watch on local television, but underneath the glamour simmered the issue of homelessness in the U.K.
Homeless Removal for the Royal Wedding?
Last January, the Windsor council asked the local police to address the homeless problem prior to the Royal Wedding.
Simon Dudley, the council’s Conservative leader, wrote a letter to the police commissioner for Thames Valley, in which he raised concerns about “the quantities of bags and detritus that those begging are accumulating and leaving on our pavements, at times unattended … this is a significant security concern, especially given the national importance of Windsor.
“Obviously, the level of tourist interest is set to multiply with the royal wedding in May 2018, and there are increased concerns from our residents about their safety. The whole situation also presents a beautiful town in a sadly unfavourable light,” Dudley added.
Dudley went further and suggested that Thames Valley police use their powers under existing laws to address the issue – “including implementing criminal behavior orders for the numerous offenders.”
Dudley’s letter and tweets on the issue were ridiculed for being dehumanizing and were condemned by the public and prominent figures like Russell Brand.
As a result, many charities stepped in to help those on the streets. The local homeless population was predicted to rise, as homeless people from outside the area came in to share the celebrations and wish the couple a happy marriage, making this support even more vital.
Charities Step in to Help the Homeless
One of these charities was Sussex Homeless Support which brought their famous Brighton bus, an old double-decker bus converted into a homeless shelter, to help those in need. They provided free and clean drinking water, tea, coffee and basic food to anyone who needed it.
Staffed by volunteers and some of Brighton’s homeless population they also offered other types of social support and provided information about how to reach support services.
Aided by their reputation for working well with the Brighton council and local police forces, their efforts were carried out successfully and had a massively positive effect.
However, the same is not true for all the charities that were trying to help.
‘The Ark Project’ was another charity that came out to help those in need by providing a 10-bed bus to offer some refuge to those sleeping rough on the day of the wedding.
Unfortunately, two days before the ceremony took place the bus was seized by Thames Valley Police due to an issue with the driver’s license.
Many charities argue that government policy is responsible for the high levels of homelessness in the U.K. and so they expressed outrage that the government interfered with homeless services and didn’t do more to help the homeless during the Royal Wedding.
Fortunately, with help from charities like the Sussex Homeless Support the wedding went off without a hitch and too much of a detrimental effect on those living on the streets.
Sussex Homeless Support is a charity based in Brighton but with connections that run across Britain. They work with and support homeless people and are aiming to completely eradicate food poverty and provide support for everybody in Brighton.
The charity collects food and clothing which it distributes daily to people on the streets. They also have a weekly ‘street kitchen’ which, every Sunday, provides a meal and a friendly environment to anyone who wants it.
Sussex Homeless Support continues to provide support and services to people who have been recently rehoused. If you would like to support Sussex Homeless Support they can be reached here.