Everyone is gearing up, the media are reaching a frenzy and the nation is ready……………...
This Friday sees the advent of one of (in my humble opinion) the less welcome US imports into the UK, Black Friday and of course it is followed closely behind at the start of next week by its online sibling, Cyber Monday.
The search for that special bargain you didn’t know you even wanted has become almost an Olympic sport for many Brits over the last couple of years since the #BlackFriday phenomenon reached our shores, shopping centres and tablets.
We have all seen TV coverage of people literally fighting over that “greatly reduced” widescreen telly or new games console, gladiator-like prowess on display with people running, jumping and grabbing items to buy that discounted gadget - at the expense of their humility, and dare I say it, humanity. A Hunger Games for the tech consumer with the winner taking the spoils – well, once they have flashed the cash or credit card at least!
The big brand marketing departments are very skilled at making us want what we really don’t need – especially if we perceive it as a bargain, but what is the true cost of the spike in consumerism we see in November every year, to us as people, communities and humans.
As some of you may know, I am a big fan of “Action for Happiness” www.facebook.com/actionforhappiness and their photo sums up the way I feel about all this.....
Saturday saw the launch of BYHP's Christmas campaign with the team's attendance at the Banbury Town Mayor's Christmas Charity Bazaar at the Town Hall.
Since joining BYHP a few weeks ago I have seen the amazing work the team have been doing over the last 25 years and continue to do with local young people who maybe haven't had the easiest start in life.
On a daily basis they are helping families resolve their problems to avoid young people becoming homeless, providing counselling to some young people with chaotic lives and providing advice and support to them in finding the most appropriate and cost effective accommodation to help keep them safe.
In addition, the team does not just deal with "homelessness"; via our employability skills training programme "Unlocking Potential" we help groups of young people build confidence, acquire skills and develop aspirations to move on in their lives by accessing education and training or by obtaining work experience, undertaking volunteering, learning money management and ultimately finding jobs.
We also provide a food bank service for young people, offer opportunities for them to help each other via peer support and we challenge them to develop interests and skills in art, music, cooking and IT via various projects.
In short, BYHP provides a nurturing "family" support network which many of the young people have not been fortunate enough to experience before coming to see us.
Our blog is a great way to stay up to date with current events and projects, stories from our young people and the general goings on at BYHP.