On the morning of Tuesday, the 21st of March 2017, the body of Matthew Bloomer, aged 28, was discovered in the doorway of T J Hughes on Glasgow’s busy Argyle Street. He had died tragically during one of the coldest nights of the year so far. As people of Glasgow, we should not and cannot tolerate the deaths of our fellow citizens in shop doorways or as a result of homelessness.
Please petition Glasgow City Council to implement Housing First as a matter of policy for rough sleepers and introduce Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP), which has saved lives elsewhere in the UK.
Well folks that’s 18 months of See The Invisibles, wow what can I say, Its blown me away, the generosity of people in and around Glasgow and even as far as the Shetland isles, donations at football grounds, donations posted from hundreds of miles away, people going on to the Amazon wish list and buying stuff to give to our group to pass on, we as a group hope we have helped a lot of people or at least made their life a wee bit easier.
The Invisibles started with a blog then a meeting or two, I was told by an experienced social worker that this could be big…well I thought no more of that statement, but I have since told that person how right he was, and it’s all down to ordinary folk who help the group and hold down jobs as well, donors who never seem to stop amazing me.
It’s 2015 and we still have the problem of homelessness and people having to use foodbanks, it’s not right.
Well we have done T in the park again and a special thanks to Tangerine Fields for their help and donations of sleeping bags and a special thanks to all the people who volunteered to wash the sleeping bags, thanks to the folk at our storage unit for helping us out.
I’d like to thank the volunteers of our wee group by name…but they want to remain invisible, you know who you are…THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.
I’d also like to thank The Celtic Foundation for their generosity, and also The Celtic Network for its generosity, and The Carluke shamrock and many others
Too everyone who has helped may your God bless you…
As Christmas and new year approaches, it seems the done thing to quietly contemplate the year gone by and reflect on all the ups and downs you’ve encountered along the way.
For me, it’s been a very bittersweet year.
It started out very busy, volunteering at my local foodbank where I was working my wee socks off and making a real difference within my local community.
Social media had played a massive role in my work there and continued to do so as I basically annoyed the life out of anyone who would listen. About foodbanks, charity work, poverty and the blatant inequality that was so evident to me, but not to everyone else. Or so it seemed.
Through twitter I had met some pretty amazing people who were like minded and determined to make a difference.
I happened across a tweet about homelessness in Glasgow.
Having been homeless for a spell myself, it was (and still is) a subject close to my heart.
These tweets were poignant.
They identified a real issue in Glasgows city centre by a railway worker who had noticed the stark numbers of people sleeping rough as he finished up on his nightshifts.
It became quite apparent that this guy, although a grumpy old sod, had a real desire to do something about this huge citywide problem.
I was in!
How could I help? What could I do?
Id developed a real passion for helping others where I could and was happy to try and link in with the contacts I was lucky enough to have made through the Foodbank.
From there, The Invisibles was born.
A community group who would act, in effect, as the middle man in arranging collections of clothes and sleeping bags then distributing them between the main homeless charities in Glasgow.
The name was never in question for, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we’ve all walked by someone sitting on the pavement without a seconds thought about the whys or where fors that led them to this place of rest.
Many would rather they were invisible and have already created a scenario that excuses the ignorance before walking by them.
This person is someone’s son or daughter, a brother or sister. A parent, an uncle, a friend.
We knew it would take off. We believed whole heartedly in the spirit of the public and that it would bring people together when faced with a real opportunity to help another.
I don’t think we envisioned just how successful we would become in such a short period of time.
I was offered a job, a job coordinating a Foodbank. So, I had to take a step back for a spell but kept an eye on the goings on with a firm view that once I found my feet in my job, I could then get stuck in again with this group that I had been involved with from it’s inception.
The job was (is) going great then I lost my wee mum in July.
Therein lies the bittersweet.
I am immensely proud of each and every one of them. Each bringing unique skills to the table but overall, the desire to help others who for whatever reason, are experiencing issues severe enough to render them homeless/roofless/stuck on the streets, is the main factor is keeping us going.
2015 will be a great year for us. We will continue to help where we can and intend to keep those less fortunate than ourselves at the forefront of everyone’s minds.