Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Railway Children in association with Mumsnet & Aviva- trip to 10 Downing Street.

Yesterday one of the most surreal experiences of my life happened. I met & spoke to Samantha Cameron at an event at 10 Downing Street. I did not have my kit, I was not there in the capacity of a make up artist I was there as a supporter of the amazing charity Railway Children in partnership with Mumsnet.
We were a group of people visiting 10 Downing street to raise awareness for the charity Railway Children. The group included: representatives from the charity itself, Aviva, Barnardo's, people from the *in the field groups*: Safe@Last, New Horizons, Streetwork, Miss U, Aberlour Young runaways, Some Mumsnet Towers staff and about 9 people selected by Mumsnet to participate (of which I was one).

I make no bones about my personal political allegiance lets just say it co-insides with my favourite shade of lipstick (red) but this was not the time to voice my political views, it was a brilliant opportunity for the Railway Children to be acknowledged and also the in the field workers be recognised for the brilliant job they do.  Me......a chance to hop on a soap box for something that I feel so passionately about- to make a difference even in a small way!

The heartbreaking statistic in the UK is: A child runs away every 5 minutes.....imagine that! By the time you have taken to make and drink a cup of tea/coffee a child has run away. The reasons for running away are many including/but not just: abuse at home, mental health issues, bullying at school, craving attention and a cry for help and can be very complex and not restricted to one social group it is across all social groups and it can be any child which is why this campaign is so critical and essential. Railway Children are an organisation that support these children and they do not judge. Once on the street and effectively *homeless* they are incredibly vulnerable and can descend into a stark living nightmare.

It was inspiring hearing Andrew- from Railway Children speak so much from the heart from his own experiences on the street, Carrie from Mumsnet about the involvement of Mumsnet with Railway Children and the incredible success this partnership has brought already and yes the person  from Aviva :), (Aviva) support Railway Children financially and raise awareness.

I would like to give a special mention to Safe@Last based in Sheffield they have been running for 13 years. What an absolutely wonderful group of selfless & altruistic people that dedicate themselves to their work providing support/wraparound care.

Aah The Eye.
At the presentation before we headed to 10 Downing Street.
Carrie from Mumsnet 
The view from inside the gates.
More security.
Blurry shot of us entering #10 on a red carpet no-less!

Please help in anyway that you can! I have put at the bottom of the post links to further information: Railway Children is an International charity, so please support even if you are not in the UK.

Obligatory shot *after* on the steps of #10.
Where does your money go in the UK?

£1 could buy a warm drink for a vulnerable child on the streets 

£5 could buy a warm meal for a young person staying in a refuge

£10 could fund resources for 30 young people at a runaway prevention workshop

£25 could help keep one of our workers on the streets, seeking out children who may be at risk

£50 could pay for 1:1 support sessions to help a child work through their issues

Twitter: @RailwayChildren #runningaway

* No cameras were allowed in No 10 itself.