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Skills Rethink Shagufta Nasreen asks that however we celebrate Christmas we remember the less fortunate

PUBLISHED: 10:00 14 December 2016

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Once again the sounds of jingle bells are all around us, Christmas lights are shining ever so bright and Christmas trees are the centre of attention for all. It is time to celebrate.

Shops are bustling with customers looking for bargains to get their Christmas gifts early and there is an air of festivity.

In today’s multicultural and diverse Britain, not everyone celebrates Christmas as a religious festival; many celebrate it as a festive season of holiday and goodwill. While most of us will be busy buying presents for our loved ones, we need to remember the homeless children who will be waiting for our care and compassion on Christmas Day, hence a little act of kindness can go very far in such situations. We need to think about homeless people around us and also the rough sleepers who have nowhere to go to and no one to celebrate their Christmas with. By helping a local charity or by volunteering to visit a homeless person on Christmas Day, we can share the festivity of the season in its true essence.

According to a recent BBC report in collaboration with Shelter, an estimated 103,000 children will be homeless at this Christmas in England. Most of them will be in London. These children will spend Christmas in temporary, rented accommodation, in B&Bs and hostels out of their local areas, away from their friends and families. Shelter says that, “thousands of families will wake up homeless this Christmas morning, uprooted and moved away from their local areas and schools.” The problem is particularly bad in London where one-in-three families will spend Christmas in temporary accommodation, not knowing, when (if at all) they will be returning to their local area.

We must ensure that all of us celebrating Christmas either as a religious festival or as a seasonal celebration, show care and compassion towards the less fortunate and vulnerable people of our communities. After all compassion has no religion but it is a mother of all religions and cultures. More from Shagufta


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