As a society, it’s a question we ask ourselves a lot, even though many of us have come to see rough sleeping as an aspect of the world we live in, that, however tragic, will always be with us. But what if there was a way to end it for good?

Every bit of the Crisis work is integrated, and all contributions go to their purpose of ending homelessness. The services they provide are carefully informed through their decades of experience of working with homeless people, and the research they’ve carried out over the years. The research is driven by their knowledge from working side-by-side with homeless people every day. And this influences their campaigning for permanent change. They support people out of homelessness for good. They do this through education, training and support with housing, employment and health. They offer one to one support, advice and courses for the homeless people in twelve areas across England, Scotland and Wales.

As well as year-round services, Crisis runs Crisis at Christmas, which since 1972 has been offering food, warmth and vital services to homeless people over the Christmas period. In 2016 almost 4,600 homeless people visited Crisis at Christmas, which was run by about 10,500 volunteers of whom gave up their holiday period to help others who were less fortunate than themselves.

At Crisis every co-worker values hard work and the time given to the members and guests, in their shops, and through campaigning and fundraising.  It's important for them to be clear about how they treat their volunteers.

If you decide to volunteer with Crisis, there is a guarantee that you will make a substantial difference with your co-volunteers. It’s all about giving your time to help the less fortunate. You will be expected to work extremely hard but very rewarding at the same time. If volunteering isn’t for yourself personally, then a donation of just £26.08 would be appreciated so that crisis can allocate to a deserving member who may need excess healthcare such as counselling or even to help a homeless person regain some educational needs so that they can make a better life for themselves.

I spoke with Nancy Jones and she has told me that this year she has been training for Crisis at Christmas to make a difference with homelessness across Britain, “I am so happy to be making a difference this year, I am trained up and I cannot wait to get started.”

By volunteering with Crisis this Christmas you can make a real difference to people experiencing homelessness. We have lots of volunteering roles to fill. Help cook and serve meals, share your skills as a hairdresser, health professional or entertainer, or have a chat and play games with our guests. It really is the most rewarding experience you could be a part of this Christmas.

Maisie Bevan, Bexleyheath Academy