Saturday 29 September 2012


I am opening up a raffle for which the prize will be this little bird. The raffle is to raise money for my local Big Issue seller. For those not in the UK the Big Issue is a magazine for homeless people to sell in order to make money to help themselves off the streets.

For just £1 you will stand the chance of winning this little bird... sound good??

I've been buying the magazine from the same guy for over a year now and enjoy our chats each time I pass,
usually he has a good old laugh at me and all my bags, trekking to and from the studio!
The other week when I stopped he told me his world was caving in on him as his benefits had been stopped and they are what pay his rent. The money he makes selling the BI buys his food, so without the benefits he faces eviction from the place he has made his home.
He had some pretty traumatic things to deal with in his life, I know because we've talked about them, and as consequence he suffers from mental health problems. 

The government have decided that because he is on medication for these problems he no longer deserves the benefits and should get a job... knowing him the amount I do I'm not sure that's a possibility for him at this stage sadly.

We have really started to see the cold weather here now and he faces a very real possibility that he will be back living on the streets at the worst time of the year.
There isn't really very much I can do for him myself and I'm finding it very hard to accept... 
... but the other night I had this idea and I hope you will feel you'd like to help.

To enter my raffle it will cost you £1, which can be donated to me via my Paypal site, and your name will then be entered into the draw.
On Monday night, 6pm GMT, the competition will close and when all the names are taken, I will draw one at random and that person will receive this little bird.
All money taken will go to him.

So would you like to help?????
I really don't know what else to do for him.
It will only cost you £1 and you stand the chance of winning this pretty little bird to the value of £120!!! Good deal huh?!
To donate £1, please log onto your Paypal account and choose to 'send funds', enter my email address:, and choose to send £1. 

When all the money is collected and I've drawn it out as cash, it will be given to Michael with a little note that explains where it all came from. 

The more of you that take part the bigger the difference it will make... so please join in.

Thank you!


lizzieM said...

hi abigail
I've just entered. A little can go a long way and I can't stand the thought of anyone having to sleep in the cold. It isn't fair.

Jenny said...

LOVE your big heart :)x

jemimalumley said...

What a lovely thing to do. I do hope it helps him. Will share too.

Abigail Brown said...

Thank you all so much! We have a total so far of 40 entries and over £120... so we're doing well!
I'm closing it on Monday night so there's 2 days still to go... ooh and I think I see another entry in my inbox!
THANK YOU for your support, it's really wonderful

Mimi and Tilly said...

Hi Abigail, Just found your blog via a link on facebook from Love and Peas. I'm very happy to contribute. You have a very big heart. I hope this helps Michael. Em :)
You can find my blog at

Unknown said...

Just away to do it now - sounds like a great idea and a chance to win one of your gorgeous birds!

*jean* said...

happy to help & get a chance at one of your darling birds...jean @ bluebirds living in the meadow

Abigail Brown said...

Wow! They just keep on coming, from far and wide and with such lovely messages. Thank YOU all for YOUR big hearts. We have 65 entires and £166!! x

Acornmoon said...

Good for you for doing this. Coincidently, I recently posted about the homeless on my blog.

Kirsten said...

This is a wonderful thing! It is hard to think how many need help and it can be overwhelming but when each of us does what we can, it makes a huge difference. Thank you for the opportunity. You do have a big heart!

Unknown said...

Hi Abigail,
I admire you for trying to help, and I'm about to paypal you some cash for Michael, but it worries me that he needs a lot more help than you or we can provide with this. I don't have the answer, but in starting to look: did you know Oxford Council has a Homeless survival guide?
There has to be some solution, it seems so ridiculous, especially in Oxford where there is so much wealth just swimming around.

ebateb said...

That is a wonderful thing to do Abigail. I hope you collect tons of money for him. x

Abigail Brown said...

Hello to the unknown comment leaver,
Thank you if you made a contribution and for caring enough to do some research.
My immediate worry for this guy was that he may lose his home, and he doesn't have the funds to pay the rent without the benefits... so giving him the money to take care of that for a while was my first goal.

I have spoken to the Big Issue and they know about him and the situation now and hopefully their Outreach team have contacted him and offered the help they can give. They said they would.

There are 1,000's of people who are homeless in just London alone but there are also many charities who are out there trying to help.

Aside from showing kindness to the people we come into contact with on the streets, we can help support those charities: Big Issue, Shelter, St Mungo's, Centre Point, Emmaus, Crisis... to name a few. Donating money and/time to helping those charities keep going will help the people we're worried about. Because it is a huge problem, as you rightly said, far bigger than you or I can handle with something as little as what we are doing here.
This is just one man's story... but maybe hearing it and being part of helping him will encourage more people to give money to those charities that support homeless people so that it really can make a big difference.

Thank you all! We've raised £215 and one more day to go

Little Dotty Bird said...

you are so sweet! The Shelter charity are pretty good on advising what you can do and if he has a tenancy already there is hopefully some support there, usually the council, social care, or a local charity that can help him fight to keep it. I used to be a tenency support worker with an organisation called Oakleaf in East Sussex, not sure if they are national though. I wish him luck x

Anonymous said...

Hi Abigail

Big hugs from Australia for your lovely friend. I just entered and hope hope hope I win. I am in love with your beautiful birds! Thank you for being s kind to those less fortunate. Lana xo

Maggie Emm said...

What a wonderful thing to do Abigail, warm (literally!) wishes to you and your friend x