Like many people I get fed up with ‘Chuggers’, short for Charity Muggers, those tabarded young people who stop you as you whip around in your desperately short lunch break shopping for dinner, trying to get you to sign up to Save the Children, Save the Whale, Amnesty etc.
If we all gave money to every charity that needs it we’d need charity ourselves to claw back our income.
Charities of choice
People support charities whose cause resonates with their own life and experiences. Having grown up in a dog poor household and spent most of my working life helping dog poor people to not lose their homes I find my own choices drawn towards charities that assist people facing similar challenges.
This is why I support Kiva [me too! – Ed] who arrange micro loans to the poor of the world to help them keep their families fed and healthy and why I was pleased to recently come across Zaccheus 2000 or ‘Z2K’ for short a charity with the big aim of assisting with justice for the poor.
Acknowledging what I have always felt, that crippling personal debt can be every bit as debilitating as a physical illness, it has the potential to affect not just the individual or their families but generations of families.
We live in one of the richest countries in the world. There is no reason why our poor should be THAT poor.
Zaccheus 2000’s work goes from providing advice and assistance for people getting screwed over by benefit cuts and helping with representations at tribunals, to campaigning against vicious legislation and red tape that keep the most vulnerable firmly under the heel of a richer society.
One glance at their campaigns page shows you that their very savvy crew are on the case of just about every idea floating around central and local government that will impact upon the poorest.
The head trustee of Zaccheus 2000 is none other than housing luminary Jan Luba QC, author of many of the standard textbooks used in the housing law business and host of the Lime Legal blog where readers can keep up with the latest legislative shenanigans and back room debates that end up complicating life for the citizens of this country.
I was surprised to see that one of the other trustees is my old mate Hannah Fearn, journalist on social affairs for the Guardian and the Indy. She helped me get into writing for the Guardian when she was editor of their Housing Network.
The Housing Advice Conference
Jan very kindly (and surprisingly) asked me to speak at their upcoming housing advice conference on the 23rd of October in London.
There are only 80 places in total and as well as myself and Jan other speakers include Anthony Gold Solicitor Giles Peaker, who many landlord Law Blog readers will be familiar with as Il Duce of housing law blog Nearly Legal, Diane Astin, author of my favourite housing law bible ‘Housing Law’ and Chief Exec of Shelter Campbell Robb.
There are other speakers, covering such diverse topics as the new Deregulation Act changes and S21s, changes to benefit rules, homelessness regulations and even how to find a good housing lawyer.
I am in two minds about whether to wear one of my trademark lairy Hawaiian shirts, or, in keeping with the illustrious company, a suit. A decision that may be made for me by the simple fact that I don’t actually own a suit.
So if you are lucky enough to nab a ticket, bring your sunglasses.