Winter is always a particularly difficult time for rough sleepers in the UK, and with the number of homeless on the rise the need to protect them from the elements is too. Human Appeal have responded by partnering with Hands On London to collect and redistribute used coats to those who need them. Sarah checked in with the NGO’s UK Programmes Manager Samra Said to find out more about their Wrap Up campaign, which runs this week, and how people can support it.
Despite growing up atheist to two religiously-raised parents who never minced words about the existence of God, religion was always present in my childhood. When my turn came for my pious aunt to secretly baptise me as a baby, it probably imbued me with the Catholic guilt that still plagues my mistakes. When I was a child we regularly visited an aunt, once a strict Carmelite Nun, at her walled-off convent where we chatted through a grill and received ice-creams via a small compartment, like in an old bank. Then in later years there were exotic Catholic funerals with Latin prayers, swinging incense censers and a priest wearing Warehouse-bought British sneakers with his formal vestments. Despite my skepticism towards an omniscient being, I’ve still respected these ceremonies and symbols that made my atheist upbringing look austere in comparison, and generally disdained when Grammar school classmates mocked religion to prove their newfound Dawkinsian logical genius.