I ran away from home once. I was about six and I’d taken extreme umbrage over something (I forget what but, trust me, it would have been trivial to the extreme). I marched purposefully down the street until I got tired and then I sat on a wall and waited. Waited for someone to come and find me. Depressingly they didn’t and so I slunk home and just pretended nothing had happened. Nobody ever knew.
It’s a funny, sad, silly little story. But I was lucky. I never had a real reason to run away. And when I did nothing happened, except a little wounded pride maybe. But other children? Ah hell, they aren’t so fortunate.
According to the charity, Railway Children, 100,000 under 16s run away or are forced to leave their homes every year. A scarily high number are under twelve. And they often end up living on the streets because they have nowhere to go and no one to turn to. Railway Children aims to help them – both here in the UK and internationally.
I dunno about you but the idea of my son living rough on the streets, open to abuse, violence, exploitation, cold, hunger, fear…turns me cold, it really does. Can you imagine your child? Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?
I know times are tough and there are endless appeals from charities – which do you choose, how do you give? I don't want to become a blogger-chugger. A blugger? A chlogger? Whatever. But actually, in this case, you don't even need to stick your paw in your wallet - someone else will give for you. All you need to do is click your mouse to get funds to this rather vital charity.
You can also strut your stuff, should be of that persuasion. The charity's campaign Street Dance for Change is looking for people to show off their best dance moves. All you have to do is record your own 30-second street dance video and share it with your friends. Aviva will donate £2 to Railway Children every time it’s viewed. Yeah, two quid! And it’s not all altruistic as the most viewed videos will be in with a chance to win tickets to Diversity’s 2012 tour and to meet the group.
You can find the Facebook page right here.
Personally, I rather like this one...
And, if you really can’t be doing with street dance (yeah, I know, it’s not everyone’s shuffle) then why not get your Christmas cards from this bunch – or even just a wrist band…