On July 15, Crisis announced broadcaster Ayo Akinwolere and actress Imelda Staunton, two award-winning stars, became the organization’s newest ambassadors. The two join other popular and well-known Crisis Ambassadors, including Ellie Goulding and Jeremy Paxman, in an effort to raise awareness for the organization.
Crisis and Homelessness in the U.K.
Crisis is a U.K.-based organization working to alleviate the issue of homelessness in England, Scotland and Wales through various services. Some of those services include one-on-one support, courses and advice. The organization also carries out research on homelessness and helps people find housing.
Homelessness has been a long-standing in the U.K.. It is estimated 280,000 people, or one in every 200, are homeless in England.
Crisis reports the COVID-19 pandemic clearly exacerbated the increase of homeless people in the country. As there are concerns that statistics surrounding homelessness are not accurately captured in official reports, Crisis carries out its own research to fully understand the scope of the problem.
A Crisis Ambassador is a role that works to increase awareness and donations for the organization and its mission. Before the announcement, both Akinwolere and Staunton provided prior support to the organization.
Akinwolere supported the charity’s Christmas campaign last year by providing entertainment for the guests and appearing in their fundraising film. Staunton has supported the organization for ten years, becoming a regular at various events, fundraisers and services.
Both ambassadors experienced success in their respective careers. Staunton, popular for her role in the Harry Potter film franchise, has acted in numerous critically acclaimed films. Akinwolere has won awards for excellence in broadcasting. Both ambassadors share a large following and commitment to social justice. Therefore, the two fit the role because they can use their platform to increase awareness for the organization.
Akinwolere’s Q&A with Crisis
In a Q&A with Crisis, Akinwolere said he is looking forward to his role because he wants to help raise awareness for the organization and highlight the important work they are doing.
“To be able to highlight Crisis and its work clearly to audiences is so important to ensure those supporting Crisis through donations and campaigning can see the humanity within many of the journeys of people experiencing homelessness.,” Akinwolere said.
He said he has been supporting the charity for years, but their relationship blossomed in the last few years.
Akinwolere also noted the importance of continuing to help the nation’s poorest as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“Homelessness is a really complicated and complex situation across Great Britain and as coronavirus restrictions lift, we cannot see the levels of homelessness return to what they were previously,” he said. “With the right approach, we can really move forward to end it.”
He also said he is looking forward to moving forward “with a really modern and holistic approach to help end homelessness for good” as he becomes an ambassador.
Staunton and Akinwolere will join others in raising awareness for the work the charity is doing in ending homelessness in the U.K. and supporting those citizens as they transition out of the streets and into housing.
– Laya Neelakandan