With 1 in 200* people in the UK either homeless or living in inadequate homes, these bitterly cold days and nights are having an equally bitter impact. It’s something that’s been front of our minds in our eighth year supporting the BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal with St Martin-in-the-Fields. The Appeal’s set up to help thousands of homeless people or those in danger of losing their homes. Every year we provide “the magic behind the scenes” as Tim Bissett, Director of St Martin-in-the-Fields puts it, running the virtual contact centre that people call to make a donation via one of the many celebrity and volunteer call handlers. This year, our team wanted to take our support even further, so we headed into London to help get even more calls answered. Here’s our MD Lee Bryant, Head of Marketing and Strategy Oli White and our Support Managers James Hookins and Craig Owens, helping some of the many thousands of people across the UK who phoned in to make a donation.
We’re so very proud to find that some 20% more calls were received and answered on Sunday (3rd December 2017) than last year’s Appeal, and the calls were answered quicker than ever before, with callers waiting half the time of previous years. Our focus is always on making vital connections – a lost call is a lost donation – and this year Sesui Cloud Call Manager helped reduce call abandonment by a third.
And the donations keep coming. For the first time, people can continue to give money throughout the night using our automated PCI compliant credit card facility. And on the first night of the Appeal, more money was donated using this method than the total amount raised during last year’s Appeal.
If you can spare some money this Christmas, then please do call 0800 082 82 84 (calls are free from landlines or mobiles) to help people leave behind life on the streets and get the support needed to turn their lives around. Click here to read more about the Appeal and the tremendous work that The Connection at St Martin’s and the Vicar’s Relief Fund teams do to help tackle homelessness. And a huge thank you to all of the very generous people we spoke with on Sunday and everyone else who continues to phone in. Your small action will make a big difference.
* Reported by Shetler, 8th November 2017 using FOI data