During festive preparations as the football captured many of us, I have stayed focussed on my own goal. I reflected on how people look for support, when times are hard. Home comforts fill you with warmth as it gets cold outside, especially in the run up to Christmas this year! Ahead of the cold snap, I had the idea to make a batch of mincemeat and fill jars to put up for sale. I remembered the freezing temperatures at the same time I went out to Romania. This was to visit a project supported by People Against Poverty, over ten years ago, and the experience stayed with me ever since. I know the community in Iasi, continue to really struggle in winter. I hoped my sale ahead of the mince pie making season here, would make a profit to benefit others.

I was certainly not on my own, being glad to hear news of the Energy Bills Support Scheme. I am too aware of how many others among my own community, are being squeezed financially. Yet I was able to sell all ten jars, with donations on top! In the spirit of goodwill, I have been able to achieve what I thought might not happen and surpass my goal. This was in part down to having my jars on display, at a well timed Christmas wreath making day. As well, it can be attributed to Delia’s fool proof mincemeat recipe! I learnt not to put all my eggs in one basket and also made some sales earlier in the year. Using the online platform Vinted, I got rid of my unwanted clothes from home. It was fun to both fundraise and de-clutter!

The football players showed us never to loose sight of the goal posts, if you want to win. I feel like a winner, quite bowled over by the generosity of family and friends. I could not have done it without my supporters – they will make a difference for those badly impacted by poverty. And it is with a heavy heart I sign off as a member of the Youth Ambassador team, now my twenties have expired! I trust People Against Poverty will continue to bring young people together and shine light on the lives of those it supports.

     Images of my time in Iasi with the children – Drawings by Coco Hammond

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