"I cannot explain the emotion involved, the relief on his face. It is and was, a huge help."
The BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal with St Martin-in-the-Fields will air on Sunday 4th December 2022.
The BBC Christmas Appeal has been running for 96 years and, since 1927, has supported people facing homelessness thanks to the generosity of our listeners.
Every year, we hear from people who have been supported through funds from St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity’s BBC Appeal.
They share their journeys with listeners and illustrate how their lives were changed upon receiving support.
Tune in this year to hear more. On Sunday 4th December 202, ‘Making a Difference’ will be broadcast at 09:45 and 17:40 – don’t miss it.
You can listen to the BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal with St Martin-in-the-Fields here.
The BBC Radio 4 Appeal
The theme of the BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal with St Martin-in-the-Fields this year is ‘Everything Starts With Home’.
Where would you be without your home? It’s the place where life, love and precious moments begin.
How would your life be different if you had to spend your nights on a friend’s sofa, or on the cold, unforgiving streets?
We ask these questions as we launch our BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal. Because without a home, there is no stability or safety. Everything starts with home.
And this year, with the cost of living crisis hitting households hard, tens of thousands of people face homelessness. In fact, Crisis has estimated that 1.7 million households could be pushed into homelessness this winter.
Everything starts with home, and home starts with you, today.
St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity offers funding for both individuals and for organisations, such as The Connection at St Martin’s in central London.
We help people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness to access suitable accommodation and keep it, right across the UK.
One grant can help a person keep their home, or find a new, safe place to live – but we need your support. Help fund our grants and support people across the UK facing homelessness.
Will you help someone secure or keep a safe home this Christmas?
How you can help someone find a safe home this Christmas
The BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal with St Martin-in-the-Fields means we are able to support people facing homelessness year-round.
Across the UK, you help us to provide financial support so that more people can find and keep a place to live.
Many financial barriers can prevent someone from securing accommodation and we regularly hear from people who can’t afford to pay costs such as an expensive, upfront rental deposit.
Our grants are designed to help.
They’re given to individuals through frontline workers who can apply on behalf of the people they’re supporting.
We’ve established a fast and effective process so that grants are given as quickly as possible, and this funding can transform a person’s circumstances quickly, effectively and often in a matter of days.
Thanks to our wonderful supporters, we’ve helped 7,183 people secure or keep their homes in the UK this year. This was through 4,582 grants and a total of £1,820,134.
These grants are often just the stepping stone people need to start their new chapter, at home.
Thanks to our generous supporters, we’ve helped 7,183 people secure or keep their homes in the UK this year. This was through 4,582 grants and a total of £1,820,134.
This was true for David*. When David’s parents passed away, he and his brother were made homeless. While they were able to access temporary accommodation, the trauma of losing his mum and dad, and his home, led to a serious impact on David’s mental health, which in turn led to a dependency on alcohol.
As a result, David lost his right to take care of his brother, which only perpetuated his struggles.
All of this made it difficult for David to keep his employment, leading to rent arrears on his property, and eventually, he faced homelessness again.
With no money to pay his arrears, he started to sleep rough.
This is when David’s support worker, Kristine, was able to help. Kristine applied for a Vicar’s Relief Fund grant on David’s behalf to pay his rent arrears. This meant he was eligible for supported accommodation – which he’s now living in.
Kristine told us how well David has been doing since accessing accommodation.
He has been in stable employment for months and is engaging with services that will help him recover even further.
He hopes that soon he’ll be in a place where he can have his own accommodation, independently.
Talking about when she let David know he’d been awarded a VRF grant, Kristine said, “I cannot explain the emotion involved, the relief on his face. It is and was, a huge help.”
David is just one of many people who have been supported through our grants.
For him, a home provided the stability he needed to start working and to recover from the struggles he faced.
Thank you to all of the supporters of our BBC Christmas Appeal – it helps us to make a difference to so many.
Everything starts with home, and home starts with you.
*Name has been changed to protect privacy.
Change lives this Christmas
Bring joy to someone’s life this festive season. Thanks to your generous donations, we can help people find, and keep, a safe place to live.