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Stop Mass Homelessness

Write to your local paper to Stop Mass Homelessness

Why write to your local paper?

Local press is widely read and a great place to raise awareness of issues in your community. Many people turn to the letters page first or look at their social media before they even have breakfast! 

You can help raise awareness of our campaign by writing to the letters page of your local paper, which you should be able to find on your local paper’s website. 

It is always more powerful to write in your own words and we have included some top tips for letter writing to get you started.

Alternatively, you can use the template that we have provided below. Add in your own words about why this campaign matters to you and remember to amend the bits in bold and sign off with your name and address.

Please let us know if you take action and If your piece gets published, we would love to read it. Let us know by emailing SMASSH@BigIssue.com.

Top tips for letter writing

  • Act quickly: your letter needs to be topical and respond to recent events such as an article, relevant news story, report, or something that was said at a local Council meeting. Look out for stories from your Local Democracy Reporter in newspapers and online. 
  • Start by writing down how you feel and sketching out roughly what you want to say 
  • Note down some key facts and evidence to support your view. 
  • Start with a catchy sentence; keep it clear and factual; use short easy-to-read sentences; reference the article you are responding to with the headline and date. 
  • Remember the three ‘P’s – be polite, criticise the policy, not the person. 
  • Keep your letter to between 100 and a maximum of 300 words; any longer and it is much less likely to be read and more likely to be cut. Editors cut from the bottom up so get your key points in early in case they are short of space. 
  • Include your name, address, email and phone number in case the editor needs to get in touch to clarify anything. Ask if you want to withhold your name and address. Papers usually only publish your street or town. 

Alternatively, you can use our template email below.

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Template email

Dear Editor, 

I’m supporting the Big Issue’s campaign to Stop Mass Homelessness and want to raise its profile locally, as I’m concerned about the hundreds of thousands of people who are at risk of homelessness. Many people, who were never before at risk of homelessness prior to the pandemic, have built up rent arrears during the pandemic and now face losing the roof over their head. 

The situation is only set to get worse with rising living costs and winter looming. Lord John Bird, Founder of The Big Issue, recently raised this issue in a debate in the House of Lords – and I want to raise it herein [insert name of local area]

This perfect storm of conditions will be affecting people right here on our doorstep. 

The Big Issue campaign offers practical solutions. The Government must invest more to keep people in their homes. The £65 million announced to support people in rent areas is a great start – but is nowhere near the £360 million needed.

I would encourage others to support the Big Issue’s campaign to stop mass homelessness and sign our petition by visiting www.bigissue.com/stop-mass-homelessness . 

[INSERT YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS] 

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