As Socialists many of us were moved by the level of street-homelessness around the Conference venue last year. A sight that is becoming all too common in our major towns and cities thanks to disgraceful Tory policies.
It felt perverse for Labour members to walk past homeless people whilst on route to a fringe meeting about tackling homelessness. Some members wanted to do something, and shortly after conference, Owen Collins, a member from Whitney CLP set up a crowdfunding page asking conference visitors to donate to a homeless charity in response to what we had seen.
I asked whether the party could support his fundraising efforts and whether we could do raising funds officially at the next conference. So we could practice what we preach in the areas our annual conference is held.
I was told ‘it is not something we normally do’ – as if electing me was going to maintain the status quo! *Files Nails*
Fortunately, my colleagues on CAC supported the idea wholeheartedly and subject to agreement at the next CAC meeting in July, we will be having an assigned charity from Liverpool at conference which tackles poverty (including homelessness). We will continue to have a local assigned charity every year in the city of our conferences.
With over 10,000 visitors at conference last year, I hope delegates, visitors, CLPs, affiliates and MPs support this initiative to raise thousands of pounds for local charities to do their much needed work in their community.
Thank you to Owen for being an amazing inspiration. And to party staff (namely Carol and Anna) for working so hard to make this happen. Once CAC approves the charity, then I will publish details of who they are, what they do and how you can donate.