This year has affected everyone. Regardless of social status, living arrangements, career, ethnicity, gender and age, Covid-19 has inspired a national refocus – a shift in attention to wellbeing, both physical and of the mind.

It’s also bought us closer together – well, in some respects. From the NHS clap to a neighbourly ‘have you got everything you need?’, community spirit has shone through!

But dealing with the pandemic fallout is a very different experience for someone with a steady job and a roof over their heads to someone in a much less fortunate position. Someone like me, for example, with my living setup up, the nature of my work and my support system, can more or less cope. I’ve bought myself a sad lamp, missed active outdoors time and I’ve now and again run out of coffee, but that’s really about as bad as it gets for me. I have a warm bed, food in the fridge and a consistent means to generate income.

Some people live under much harder circumstances as it is. Some people are sleeping rough throughout all this – alone, unsupported and unable to change their situation…

Though Covid means we can’t physically give our time, as we usually would for our 12 Days initiative, we can donate an average day’s pay to make a difference to someone’s life.

That’s why my nomination for Jellybean’s 12 Days of Giving this year is The Renewed Hope Trust.

The Renewed Hope Trust is a local charity (Redhill) providing support (both physical and emotional) to the homeless, vulnerable and isolated. They hold drop-ins at their chapel residence, which people can visit for a free hot meal and caring company and manage a food bank for struggling individuals and families.

Perhaps most importantly now that winter has arrived, The Renewed Hope Trust runs a night shelter from December through March, to ensure many homeless and vulnerable people have a warm, safe place to sleep in the coldest months – and with Covid an extra concern and pressure this year  on set up shelters, the more funding charities like The Renewed Hope Trust has, the better they care safely look after people at this worrying time.

Homelessness is so crippling and in the past few years I’ve come to believe, given a devastating sequence of unfortunate events and/or mental health issues, it could happen to any of us. For others, the streets are the safer place to be, so terrible is their home life.

By donating as Jellybean has, we can help to a) make things a little more bearable and b) work towards getting people into safe accommodation and leading self-sufficient lives.

2020 is the perfect year to start living more compassionately – Visit their website here.