What do ‘The Queue’ and World Homeless Day have in common?

child in a den

The outpouring of national grief we have witnessed since the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been on a scale many of us will not have witnessed since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997. An estimated quarter of a million people join ‘The Queue’ to pay their lasts respects to the monarch during her lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.[1] At times the queue was over 24 hours long, and many had to stay in line throughout the night, often in the cold and rain, to maintain their place. Ahead of the state funeral, held on Monday 19th September, many people slept out overnight on The Mall in London to secure a place to watch the funeral procession and say a final farewell to a beloved monarch.

Most were happy to do so without complaint, because, for them, it was important to show their love and respect for the Queen in that way. But (I suspect) their decision to participate was heavily influenced by the knowledge that theirs was a temporary situation; that, once the gun carriage has passed by and the period of mourning was over, they could return home to a warm meal, a comfortable bed and the security of their own space.

Imagine, though, that a return to warmth, comfort and security are no longer a guarantee. That the sleeping bag on The Mall is suddenly the only place of shelter. For many who have experienced rough sleeping and other forms of homelessness, this is an all too true picture. They do not know when they will next have a warm meal, where they will sleep, or whether they will remain safe. It is with that in mind that we have launched our ‘Dream in your Den’ sponsored event, ahead of World Homeless Day on Monday 10th October.

We’d like you to help raise awareness of issues surrounding homelessness, along with money towards the work of Restore, by encouraging your child to build a den in your house (or garden, if they are feeling brave!) and sleep inside it for one night over the weekend 7-9th October. Ask your friends and family to sponsor them to do this: the easiest way to do this is to visit our total giving campaign page and click ‘fundraise for this appeal’ to set up your sponsor page, then any funds raised will be collected online and come directly to us.

If you don’t have children, then please promote the initiative to your neighbours, family members and social circle. Invite the leaders of your local youth groups, schools, guides, scouts and Sunday school groups to promote the event to their members. You can also sponsor those taking part by visiting the totalgiving website and clicking ‘Donate Now.’

Thank you to everyone participating in the event and those sponsoring them to do so; your support of our work is greatly appreciated. Because of you we can continue Providing Homes and Giving Hope to those in York in need of support.

If you would like to know more about the work we do, please check out our Facebook page. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter. If you would like to support our work financially, please donate here. Thank you.

[1] Article in Metro newspaper, Tues 20th Sept 2022: ‘More than 250,000 people saw Queen lying in state in first official queue figure,’ by Jen Mills