As I roamed the streets of Newcastle, taking in the sights and sounds and faces, I was struck by the realisation that there’s, perhaps, an important distinction that needs to be made when one speaks of those in need.
There seems to me to be a middle point between the “average person” and the “homeless person,” and that middle point is comprised of those who you would consider to be “the vulnerable.” This segment of the population can include people in low-income households, those who have lost their jobs, moved to a new city with few resources, or have as little as £1 to spend per day.
These are the people I strive to empower, because the unfortunate reality is that once you fall into the “homelessness bracket,” once you cross that border, it’s extraordinarily difficult to cross back over. So, in order to help people steer clear of that reality, I try to show them things they can use to push themselves in the other direction.
Thankfully, there seem to be many like-minded people in Newcastle!
The People’s kitchen
I began day 6 of my £1 a day challenge by grabbing breakfast from one of Newcastle’s finest non-profit organisations; The People’s Kitchen. This is an organisation that has provided food, clothing, and support to those in need for 30 years by working closely with local businesses and communities.
The love for their community is great, and that love seems to be returned in kind, as I managed to secure an incredibly hearty meal for no cost at all. Always remember to keep an eye out for those kind souls who’ve taken it upon themselves to uplift those around them!
After asking around for the best place to find a good deal on food items, I came to a building called Grainger Market.
Markets are typically great for finding deals on all kinds of things, including food. Not only are they highly competitive, which naturally drives the prices down, but they also, often times, leave room for haggling.
The market was huge, and seemed to have just about anything you could ask for. The prices on food were great, but unfortunately just out of budget. I settled for grabbing a bag of small chips for £1 as it seemed to be the most filling thing for that amount.
An Unexpected Friend
The last thing on my list was to secure dinner. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I figured I’d run into something eventually. I was right, only, that “something” turned out to be a man named Jack, who, as it happens, had been following my videos for quite some time!
Jack was in the middle of biking across the country in search of new experiences. He had no plan or particular goal, only the undeniable urge to move freely, outside the typical confines of society. As he told me about his experiences, it became quite clear why my content had been appealing to him. While he wasn’t someone who had been forced into this situation (to my knowledge), he was definitely “roughing it.” In fact, he was so well seasoned that I actually ended up learning a couple of useful survival hacks from him in return.
One such hack was that by collecting enough promotional stickers off of the McDonalds cups people discarded, he’d been able to secure quite a few free drinks.
It wasn’t food, but it was better than nothing. I used the McDonalds online portal to sign up for a free drink for myself, and we made our way there.
We sat down, shared a little more about our experiences with living life outside “the lines,” and by the end of it I couldn’t help but ask if he felt like joining me on my trip to Edinburgh – which, true to his adventurous spirit, he did. Day 7 was sure to be an interesting ride!