Inspirational, is the word I often use to describe Freda Clark. She is an active campaigner for the voiceless and overlooked in society. Freda has been the driving force behind a great number of effective social action projects in this borough and continues to challenge and inspire me and many other with her ‘faith in action’ shaped life. So it’s with a genuine respect and pleasure that I welcome Freda as my guest blogger this week.
in loco parentis
When I reached my majority, my parents presented me with a formal charter which began: “On the occasion of her 21st birthday, we the undersigned…”
This rather quaint document had two very important functions. Firstly, it acknowledged that I was now an adult, and secondly, it assured me of my continuing special place in the essence of my family. And I decided that it makes a good starting point to explain why I shall be sleeping in a cardboard box on a bitter March evening, to wake up cold and possibly wet at the slightly grander age of 72. (Am I really doing this on my birthday??!!).
Quite simply, I’m doing it to raise funds for young people who had a far less privileged upbringing than I did, and who face far more material struggles than the majority of my immediately post-war generation. Because it’s tough out there for young people, and those without parental support are at a real disadvantage. Care leavers have no “Bank of Mum and Dad” to give or lend them money or stuff, and they rarely have adults they feel they belong to, and whose care they can rely on.
The fund aims to support young people who are wanting to move from benefit dependency into work. They need clothes and fares for interviews; they need living expenses while they wait for their first pay cheque; they need rental subsidy, because housing benefit stops once they are in work. Some of the money is loaned (it’s an important life skill to pay your way), and some given. The principle is that work must not leave the new employee out of pocket. It makes sense to remove the obstacles that stand in the way for young people wanting to work their way to independence.
The wonderful team at the YMCA Hillbrook House are dedicated to helping young people realise their full potential, but this aspect of the work relies on donated money. So I am hoping that you will want to support the SleepEasy cause.
I love it when my children visit; I feel honoured when they ask me for help. That’s because they will always be “my girls”. I love it when people are kind and supportive of my girls. Surely God is equally delighted when we bring blessing into the lives of the precious children He yearns over. Are not all people precious and fearfully and wonderfully made? Don’t we all need help and encouragement along the way, but especially when we are starting out in life?
Yours in His love, Freda
Go to Virgin Money Giving, and look for Freda Clark, or cut and paste this link