Shelter’s Christmas advert shines a light on the stark realities faced by across the UK.
The heartbreaking campaign follows eight-year-old Maddie (Tilly Walker) who represents the who will wake up on December 25 without a home.
The clip begins like other Yuletide adverts with Maddie overhearing in the post office that she will be on Santa’s nice list if she’s ‘good as gold.’
Taking the advice to heart, Maddie sets about completing a series of good deeds, including lugging a neighbours Christmas tree back ot their home, giving up her seat on the bus and helping her teacher collect homework.
After all her hard work, Maddie goes to sleep on Christmas Eve hoping for the best, but when she wakes up she’s in a tiny one-room accommodation with her mother and baby brother.
‘But I was so good,’ Maddie says after realising she didn’t get her wish for home.
The advert ends with the heartbreaking words: ‘No child should have to wish for a home but over 131,000 do.’
The numbers of households and children in temporary accommodation in England are at record highs, government statistics released in July showed.
Some 104,510 households were in temporary accommodation by the end of March – the highest number since records began 25 years ago.
The total number of children in this situation is also at the highest level since records for that measure began in 2004 – with 131,370 children living in temporary accommodation as of the end of March this year.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘This advert brings to life what it really means for a child to have nowhere to call home. Make no mistake: a cramped hostel room or a run-down bedsit is not a home, but this is where far too many children will be waking up on Christmas morning.
‘As we head into winter, Shelter is doing everything we can to help the thousands of families facing homelessness this Christmas. Our expert advisers are working in communities across the country, they are taking calls at our emergency helpline, and they are providing free, expert case work.
‘But as more people turn to Shelter, we need the public to help those wishing for a home. By giving what you can, we can support thousands of families facing homelessness this winter.’
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