Link is just 14 and surviving life on the streets
Not wanted in the family home, Link set off for London, hoping he would find a job and make his own way. After a few weeks surviving on his limited £150 budget, Link ran out of options. So now here he is - no home, no family, no money.
As a teacher, you may know Link from the Robert Swindells book Stone Cold, featured as a National Curriculum text for Key Stage 3. It's an all too familiar story of how many people end up homeless then ask Crisis for help.
We hear from many teachers that their class want to find out more about homelessness. So, we have created resources to provide this information and engage pupils with a difficult but important issue and ask them:
- How would you survive if you were Link and how would you feel?
- How would you leave the streets behind for good?
- What causes someone to be homeless?
- What does Crisis do to support homeless people?
A message from author Bob Swindells
As a writer for young people and a former teacher, I would urge schools to lend their support to this campaign by the homeless charity Crisis.
On frequent visits to London between the 1980s and the present day, I have been appalled at the numbers of homeless young people to be seen on the streets of the capital. Speaking with some of these youngsters, it quickly became obvious to me that none of them were out there by their choice: in fact a kid would have to be crazy to choose such a cold, lonely and dangerous existence.
My response was to write a teen novel, Stone Cold, about a lad from the north struggling to survive in a city that pays him no heed. My hope was that it might alter some people's perception of homelessness: a state which is not the fault of the homeless.
Crisis offers crucial hope to the young dispossessed, in a world that must often seem devoid of hope.
Just like Link, Scott found himself with no home, no family and no money. He came to Crisis, where he was able to access a range of services:
Support Crisis with the Pupils' Challenge
We're also asking for your financial support. After your pupils have thought about Link and homelessness, they may want to do something practical to help someone like Link. If you raise just £102.40, you can reserve a place for five homeless people at Crisis at Christmas where they get:
- Three nutritious meals a day and a bed if they need it
- A hot shower and a new set of clothes
- Housing and job advice and access to year-round Crisis services
- Help to leave homelessness behind for good
The Pupils' Challenge features tasks in which pupils can demonstrate persuasive thinking and writing for a target audience. Pupils can complete their own fundraising challenge and need to work together and problem solve.
Stone Cold lesson plans
You can help your students to increase their awareness and knowledge of homelessness by using our specifically designed lesson plans. The plans are based on the book Stone Cold and tie in to the National Curriculum, English Key Stage 3.
Our schools' fundraising pack is full of all the information you need to organise a fundraising event as well as posters and information sheets about homelessness and the work Crisis does.
You can order your fundraising pack online or call us on 020 7036 2888.
Why not combine your fundraising with an awareness activity for students by organising a sponsored sleep-over at your school? More information about about organising a sleep over.
More fundraising ideas for schools
- Hold a cake sale
- Organise a dress-down day
- Hold a collection at your Christmas carol concert or play
- Sponsored event - silence, spell, walk, run, swim, dance
- Hold a fundraising Summer Fair
- Collect your coppers
- Organise a school dance with money from each ticket going to Crisis
- Organise a raffle and sell raffle tickets
- Organise a charity concert or talent competition
Crisis Ambassadors' Network
Crisis has a network of volunteer ambassadors who are available to go into schools and talk to students about the issues facing homeless people and what Crisis is doing to help. If you would like to arrange for an ambassador to come into your school, contact us on 020 7036 2888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.