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At Shelter, every day over the winter months, I hear from parents who face the bleak choice between missing their rent or cutting back on heating or clothing. It never gets easier to hear a parent on the phone in tears, and at breaking point from the weight of their spiralling housing payments.

Last year we received 450,000 calls to our helpline – that’s more than 1,200 calls every single day. Many of these people ring over and over because they are desperate to get through.

One in four people we speak to face losing their home within a month, or even the next day. And this New Year, Shelter found that over 2.7m parents in England were cutting back on winter heating and clothing to meet their housing payments.

M&S has been funding the Shelter helpline for a decade, donating 5% of every sale of its Christmas ‘Food on the Move’ range directly to the helpline and paying for one in six of the calls that we answer. M&S also supports Shelter with donations of head office clothing samples that go to Shelter shops all year round, and through its new Sparks card initiative. So far, with your help, we've raised over £8 million in total.

It’s heart-breaking to imagine someone facing homelessness with nowhere to turn, but the ‘Food on the Move’ range means that something as simple as buying lunch can help us to be there for everyone who needs us, so thank you so much for your support.

There’s no shame in asking for help, which is why Shelter is here 365 days a year. Getting advice early can make all the difference, and we’re only ever a click or a call away.


Shelter helps 4 million people a year fight bad housing and homelessness. For free and independent advice from Shelter visit http://england.shelter.org.uk/ or call the helpline on 0808 800 4444.



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