This week posters all over London have been advertising Black Friday, the shopping day imported from America where online retailers lure shoppers with pre-Christmas deals.
Now another transatlantic import, Whole Foods Market, is rebelling against this with its own version: Give Back Friday. The supermarket chain will donate 5 per cent of Friday's gross sales from its seven London stores to The Independent and Centrepoint's Young and Homeless Helpline appeal.
In addition, customers will be able to donate to Centrepoint at the till throughout November and December.
“We are in awe of the constant energy from the Centrepoint team and their commitment to helping young adults get back on their feet,” says Diego Hvozda, store team leader at Whole Foods Market Piccadilly.
“All our London stores rally behind our Christmas Centrepoint appeal, but we at the Piccadilly store have a special connection as we share a neighbourhood with the Centrepoint head office and centre. At this time of year there is a lot of joy and happiness, but we must not forget that this can be one of the most lonely times for those who are homeless.”
It's the second year in a row Centrepoint has teamed up with Whole Foods Market, which is known for its glossy fruit and veg displays. Last year they raised £31,946 for the appeal.
The causes of homelessness
The causes of homelessness
1/7 Family Breakdown
Relationship breakdown, usually between young people and their parents or step-parents, is a major cause of youth homelessness. Around six in ten young people who come to Centrepoint say they had to leave home because of arguments, relationship breakdown or being told to leave. Many have experienced long-term problems at home, often involving violence, leaving them without the family support networks that most of us take for granted
2/7 Complex needs
Young people who come to Centrepoint face a range of different and complex problems. More than a third have a mental health issue, such as depression and anxiety, another third need to tackle issues with substance misuse. A similar proportion also need to improve their physical health. These problems often overlap, making it more difficult for young people to access help and increasing the chances of them becoming homeless
Young people's chances of having to leave home are higher in areas of high deprivation and poor prospects for employment and education. Many of those who experience long spells of poverty can get into problem debt, which makes it harder for them to access housing
4/7 Gang Crime
Homeless young people are often affected by gang-related problems. In some cases, it becomes too dangerous to stay in their local area meaning they can end up homeless. One in six young people at Centrepoint have been involved in or affected by gang crime
5/7 Exclusion From School
Not being in education can make it much more difficult for young people to access help with problems at home or health problems. Missing out on formal education can also make it more difficult for them to move into work
6/7 Leaving Care
Almost a quarter of young people at Centrepoint have been in care. They often have little choice but to deal with the challenges and responsibilities of living independently at a young age. Traumas faced in their early lives make care leavers some of the most vulnerable young people in our communities, with higher chances of poor outcomes in education, employment and housing. Their additional needs mean they require a higher level of support to maintain their accommodation
Around 13 per cent of young people at Centrepoint are refugees or have leave to remain, meaning it isn't safe to return home. This includes young people who come to the UK as unaccompanied minors, fleeing violence or persecution in their own country. After being granted asylum, young people sometimes find themselves with nowhere to go and can end up homeless
“We are delighted to have the continued support of Whole Foods for their Christmas campaign this year,” says Nick Connolly, head of corporate development at Centrepoint. “With the number of young people sleeping rough in London more than doubling in recent years, this support is truly invaluable. This winter alone, almost 25,000 young people will be at risk, making dangerous choices just to survive.”
This Christmas The Independent is raising money to support Centrepoint, and to raise money for a new houth homelessness helpline. More than 150,000 young people approach the authorities every year because they are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Nearly three quarters of those who approach Centrepoint have experienced abuse of some kind.
“We are proud and delighted to be partnering with Centrepoint during the festive season for the second year running,” says Benjamin Woodgate, Whole Foods Market Marketing coordinator. “We have a great appreciation for the efforts of the Centrepoint team but especially during the Christmas period and winter months.”
How to donate to The Independent’s Christmas Appeal
The Independent’s Homeless Helpline appeal is raising money for the Centrepoint Helpline, a brand new support service that will save young people from ending up on the streets.
To donate you can:
0300 330 2731
HOME66 £5 to 70070
40-42 Phoenix Court Hawkins Road