So you have money left at the end of the month? Enough for a holiday, for Christmas? Chances are if you are a season ticket holder at a UK football club you do. Even if this is the case, and if you have a full time wage coming into the house, you’ll have noticed the cost of living a normal, socially-connected, life in the UK is not cheap.
Housing, travel, energy are all expensive. If you want to get or keep a job, a mobile phone is increasingly necessary. If the only wage coming into the house is low, or if you are bringing up a family, or if you are unwaged, or on your own with kids, you’re struggling. The heating will be rationed, Christmas is an annual worry you save for 11 months of the year, holidays are something other families talk about.
Life is miserable for many families, demeaningly so.
I heard a politician last week suggest food banks have burgeoned in recent years due to them being better advertised. I respectfully disagree. Food poverty exists across the UK, alongside heating and housing poverty. People eat toast, a tin of beans or a plate of chips as their main daily meal. Sometimes this is not even an option.
If you’re on a limited wage or keeping a family together on benefits your money will be gone before the next payment is in the bank, pretty much every week or month. You put the heating up during the cold spell last month and have now paid the bill. There’s will be no money for several days and there’s no food in the house. What do you do?
Fortunately food banks exist, not because they are a well marketed business success story, because hundreds of thousands of people in towns and cities across the country have no food before the next tranche of money arrives.
The Penny Dinners Brother Walfrid provided to kids in the east end of Glasgow, which Celtic were started to fund, resonate today. This is why today, on the 100th anniversary of Walfrid’s death, you are asked to bring a bag of provisions along to Celtic Park. That food is your way of paying into the social fund that gave you Celtic. There is a possibility that collectively, you will achieve something magnificent for some of the poorest families in Scotland.
While you’re in a listening mood, CQN’er Tommy Melly, an integral part of TeamOscar, is running the Great Edinburgh Run on Sunday for Neuroblastoma Children’s Cancer Alliance. He’s also doing the Glasgow 10k in June and the Great Scottish Run in October, all for NCCA. You can do your bit in memory of Oscar, and for those kids who fight on, here.
Have a great day at the football, I hear the banners on the stadium at the top of Celtic Way will be worth photographing.