Many thanks to the various people who have been using ebay to raise money for The Big Issue in the North Trust. You can support The Big Issue in the North Trust through ebay by choosing to donate anything from 10% – 100% of an item that you’re selling on ebay to The Big Issue in the North Trust. When you are putting an item on for auction simply use the advanced seller options and look for ebay for charity, making sure you select The Big Issue in the North as your chosen charity. More instructions for doing this can be found on ebay: http://pages.ebay.co.uk/ebayforcharity/help.html#
Last year, actor and model Lee Westwick rasied money for the charity by auctioning a signed t-shirt. Lee attended the Mobo Awards and came back with the T-Shirt signed by Fazer “N-Dubz”, Tinie Tempah, Tinchy Stryder and Kiesha Buchanan “ex-Sugababe”.
“I am glad to help The Big Issue in the North,” said Lee. “I was homeless for over 18 months when I was 19 in London. I found it so hard and there was not much help out there at all. I think the Big Issue is great. I turned my life around from roaming the streets, staying awake for as long as possible just because I was scared I would not wake up, making small but grateful bits of money so that I could just buy a coffee or a drink to stay somewhere warm for a while, until I had to go back out on to the streets.
“In the September, I followed some friends up to Leeds, but still had no idea where I was going or what I was doing. I ended up hiding out in my friends Halls of Residence for weeks, somewhere I was not supposed to be! I eventually got a part time job collecting glasses in a pub in. I kept some of my earnings aside until I had enough to rent a room in a shared house, buy some smarter clothes and get a higher paid job working in a clothes shop. I then applied to go to Leeds College of Music. Afterwards things picked up a lot: I found myself back in London working on filming for ITV’s The Bill among other jobs. I now have plans to go back and do a further college performing arts and media degree in Leeds.
“I think if I had used the Big Issue, a step up to leading a more settled way of life, I would of done made changes in my life and got off the street alot quicker, and not been exposed to the dangers of the streets for as long as I did. Although I spent just over 18 months on the streets of London, which was a frightening and daunting experience, I managed to turn my life around and I want to let everyone know that there is hope, they can do it. You have to stay strong and use the agencies and help that’s out there – that’s what they are there for.”
Many thanks to Lee for this inspirational story and the donation!