Caritas Salford

For the first time in Caritas Salford history, they have launched their annual Advent Appeal digitally as the coronavirus pandemic has forced them into a different approach.

Caritas Salford is a non-profit charity that provide support for those in need and this winter they have launched a #MiracleofKindness digital campaign with one simple message, ‘In a world where you can be anything- be kind’.

The focal point of this digital campaign is a YouTube film showcasing the stories of how three homeless people reached out to Caritas and who are now in a much better and happier place.

The video is narrated by Cold Feet star John Thomson and tells the powerful stories of Rochelle, Quinton and Nikki who have each experienced homelessness in their own way.

The head of fundraising for Caritas Salford, Rachel Taylor, explained more about the campaign and why they were forced into taking it online.

Taylor explained that the charity lost out on most of their usual fundraising money (which comes from catholic schools putting spare change into cardboard boxes during lent) because of the lockdown in March.

This forced Caritas to think outside the box and move their Advent Appeal online.

On going digital, Taylor said: “We had no choice but to say we have to do things differently, we’re going to have to ask our traditional supporters if they could make this move to digital and try these new technologies.

“So you’ve got old people having to get their phone out and get online, they have adapted, they’ve done really well.

“For schools, we can’t ask them to collect pennies so again, {a} just giving page. 

“The difficulty with schools is they have enough on their plates.”

Caritas Salford released the film on 15th November on YouTube.

On the film, Taylor said: “The film came about because John who is the owner of social (which is a communications agency) had done some work for us {in the past}.”

John’s agency helped to pay for the film and created it by showcasing some of Caritas’ most heartfelt stories.

Taylor said that the agency shared their vision for the film with them: “What we want to try and do is take some of your stories, the difference you make and if we can make a film to show that, we can make a lot of noise on social media.

“So you’ve got your traditional supporters who will hopefully like it and share it and it may encourage new people.”

Taylor continued to home in on the three people the film is focused on, saying: “You’ve got Nikki, Quniton and Rochelle, three different stories of homelessness.

“Not all with a happy ending, but in the right direction happy ending. Quinton was living in a tent for four years, Rochelle came to us when she was pregnant. She came to us and had her baby so she’s in young parents’ accommodation.

“So it’s a different type of homelessness really, no home of their own really, no permanent home of their own.

“Nikki came seeking asylum and she ended up living with her three children in the attic room of someone’s house, freezing cold and came to us for food because she had nowhere to cook.

“She’s been able to get her own house, she works for the NHS but at this time when she came to us she had no recourse, until you get your status you get no help at all.”

Image credit is given by Rachel Taylor
Nikki

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