By Robb Sheppard Communications Officer, SIFA Fireside (reproduced with permission)
It’s a sad truth that while the festive season often inspires acts of kindness towards vulnerable people, the same cannot always be said for the warmer months. But SIFA Fireside, the Birmingham support service for those experiencing homelessness, is addressing this issue head-on.
During summer, many individuals tend to overlook the plight of people struggling for housing, as if homelessness becomes less significant when the sun starts shining. As a result, donations to SIFA Fireside dry up in summer, making it challenging for them to continue their vital work.
Founded in the 1980s, SIFA Fireside is dedicated to supporting adults experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness in Birmingham. Their Support Centre, located in Digbeth, serves as the city’s central hub for adults without a place to call home, offering a comprehensive range of responsive services, including health clinics, housing advice, financial planning, as well as providing hot meals, showers, clothing, and laundry facilities.
Commenting on the campaign, Melissa Roche, Head of Fundraising, Volunteering and Communications at SIFA Fireside said: “Our summertime dip in donations is an issue we experience every year. This ingenious pro-bono work One Black Bear created for us will really help us in our efforts to plug this gap.”
Jon Harrison, Co-founder and Creative Partner at One Black Bear, added: “Homelessness is an issue that Birmingham deals with better than most other European cities. This is thanks to the sterling work carried out by charities, like SIFA Fireside who work tirelessly to support those most in need. This is a subject that has been very close to the agency’s heart for years and we’re proud to donate our creative expertise to help these wonderful organisations help others.”
Through the generous support of leading media company, Ocean Outdoor, top-quality OOH advertising space has been donated to spread this important message across the city. Additionally, SLAM Productions have showcased their generosity by providing photography and retouching expertise for the campaign.
The campaign also saw “Reserved” beach towels appear across Birmingham alongside a card bearing the message; “While you’re off reserving the best sunbeds, others will be reserving their spot on the street. #NoHolidayFromHomelessness”
To make a difference in the lives of the homeless this summer, the public is encouraged to support the campaign by visiting sifafireside.co.uk/holiday. For the price of a poolside cocktail, individuals can play their part in addressing homelessness in Birmingham and ensuring that support is available year-round.