By Charlotte Powell, Camrose Support Worker
Last Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of visiting the Overton Beavers group to talk about homelessness. Twenty seven excited and expectant faces who were eager to hear what I had to say greeted me.
I had prepared a couple of activities. One of these involved going outside into the dark and finding some trees; laying out tarpaulin and turning off the torches. We spent 15 seconds in silence and talked about what they may feel if they were in this situation every night. Then we talked about the differences between sleeping outside in the countryside and the town. The provocative question from all of them? “Where do you go to the loo”! A question that would have crossed my mind before starting work here two and a half years ago!
Back inside, one brave Beaver volunteered to be layered up in clothes to experience how to keep warm when homeless and rough sleeping. About seven layers later when she was barely able to stand she looked at me and said, “This is difficult”. The life of the homeless summed up by a child in three words. “It certainly is” I said and let her go to get unraveled. Lastly, we packed a rucksack with everything with food, water; snacks etc. and some of them tried it on to see how heavy it was.
All of them had relevant and interesting questions. Some, I could answer, such as “where can they get clean clothes from”? and “where do they go for hot food”? Other poignant questions included “why do some homeless people get beaten up and how can we stop it” and“why don’t homeless people always get respect”? I as an adult do not know the answer to these questions. I suggested that education and kindness is the best way forward, which I think is something we as The Camrose Centre strive to do.
I gave children a word search and worksheet to do with their family to help facilitate conversation. Lastly, I was thrilled to receive a big box of Easter treats that each child had brought with them. They will go to our clients over Easter.
Thank you to Overton Beavers for having us!
If you are involved with a group such as Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Rainbows, Guides or similar group, and would like a member of our team to come and give a talk, please do get in touch we’d love to help! Contact us here.