Stories like this definitely make you realise how lucky you are to have shelter , warmth and a family on these cold winter nights and … especially at christmas time .
I found Antoinette crying in a doorway , shivering and freezing cold . We approached her concerned as to why she was crying and to try and comfort her .
Straight away she noticed the camera around my neck and i was met with pleas of
” Please take my picture so my mum will see it and know where I am ” .
In a flash , a lump rose in my throat ….. Anyway , we had been shopping and were on the way home , so …. I had in my bag food items and a pink glove and hat set which had been brought for my daughter . I immediately took out the sandwich and the hat and gloves thinking that it would do her a lot more good at this moment in time , she could keep herself warm and sate her hunger . With many thanks , in less than a second , the gloves and hat were on and the sandwich was being hastily eaten to numerous jeers from passers by of
” Why are you speaking to her “
” Dosser “
” Lend us a quid to score “
” Scum “
Today i think its almost considered a taboo to speak to people living on the streets never mind to offer a helping hand because the looks i got whilst helping her and the things people said as they walked past , enjoying their night of drink and drugs ( Probably ) were terrible . People are so selfish and inconsiderate ( The world could be a better place if everyone would love each other as they love themselves ) .
In the next 15 minutes I heard a heart wrenching story , through tears , of how she was missing her family , particularly her mother and son.
Antoinette had come from Burnley where she had her own son , at a young age , until she had lost her home , after which he was taken off her . The grief she felt at not knowing where he was , was so clear in her eyes and by what she said . She just wanted to get back home to her mother , see her son and sort everything out ( easier said than done when your in such a terrible situation ) .
She was recently blinded in one eye through being assaulted on the streets of Blackpool of which no action was taken . There was no way for her to get any help or a place to stay at so short notice . You feel so helpless when faced with situations like this .
This young girl who seemed to have aged way beyond her years was in desperate need of solace . I wish to have helped her more and I only hope we provided her with some comfort and warmth on this freezing cold night .
Her last words to me when i left were …
” Please don’t let your son turn out to be like me , tell him to be a good boy stay with his mum and dad …. and work hard ”