The South Bank Review Winter 2017 | We need you
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We need you


W E  N E E D  

Y O U .


This issues all around us; it’s here all through the streets,

an issue that’s ignored – a cycle that repeats.

We know it’s a growing problem, that we choose to overlook,

we’re all guilty including me, we just think of them as crooks.



Their numbers are rising and something should be done,

we need to pull together and truly become one.

Help, support and care is what they need;

not alcohol or cigarettes or money that buys weed.



There’s always someone worse than us – these people think their stuck,

life’s dealt them a really bad hand with very little luck.

People like us who are more privileged and stable,

means that we can come together and help them become more able.



Research has been done: the statistics are black and white,

over 8,000 people slept rough last year, on the streets at night.

It’s more than tripled in the last ten years,

it really can affect anyone – your family, your friends, your peers.



I know that we stereotype, we judge and we label,

but imagine the way the world would look if I just turned the table.

What would go through your mind, sitting there alone?

no family, no food, not even owning a phone.



You’d be scared right? Thinking your life is done for,

thinking what’s the point in living when all you want is more.

You sit there with your cup, cold with a rumbling belly,

yet you yearn for that hot cuppa in front of the telly.



Winter is coming and the nights become colder,

you look back at your past, hating that your older.

All you want is a simple smile, maybe just a hello,

you wish for people that understand and truly really know.



Feeling all alone, you turn to smoking and booze,

why not? No-one cares? You have nothing more to lose.

Then the vicious cycle starts and there is no escape,

when will this hell end? You deteriorate out of shape.



Then it comes the thing you dread, that heavy downpour of rain,

there’s no-one there to rely on, no-one to share your pain.

All the moving around leaves you wanting something to chew,

a 99p cheeseburger is the best that you can do.



You sit with your cheeseburger and soaking wet belongings,

reminiscing on life before, sitting there just longing.

Someone help me you think, but nobody is there,

the wind is toe biting as your dreams drift through the air.



Your asked to move along, but where is there to go?

your looked upon like a parasite; all you feel is woe.

Bagging up your things, you take a look around,

your bottom is numb and cold from sitting on the ground.



Walking down the streets, your searching for somewhere warm,

praying that you’ll find somewhere before there’s another storm.

The smell of damp and sweat slithers through your nostrils,

looking at your finger nails, it’s like your growing fossils.



A nice warm bath and a big meal to eat,

getting under the warm covers, curling your toes through ironed sheets.

It’s all these little things that you really start to miss,

like the touch of a lover, feeling their lips press yours when you kiss.



Just one little bath or the feeling of heat,

these are things you lose when you feel defeat.

This my friend is why we’re socially divided,

no help from you; it’s as though their fate has been decided .



Days pass by: they become longer, lonelier and bitter,

this weathers causing you harm now, giving you the jitters,

The harsher it gets, the sicker you fall,

your stuck remember, with nobody to call.



With nothing but the clothes on your back,

you sit staring at your shoes, playing with the almighty crack.

There are holes in your jumper and rats are getting near,

it’s like their sitting whispering and watching all your fears.



Now let’s turn the table back, back to here and now,

your off to work or university; do you feel like wow?

Remember on your daily journey to give these people a thought,

are they homeless by choice or did society help them get caught?



It doesn’t take a lot, just stop and show you worry,

whether it’s a quick chat or giving money, don’t rush off in a hurry.

It’s all about time and investing it correctly, don’t care about what others think,

if anything, educate them and get their minds in sync.



All you need to do, is show that your there,

donate to your nearest shelter, show this world that you care.

It may not be much, but I’m sure their smiles will grow,

believe it or not, their appreciation will really show.



We need to open our eyes and really address this matter,

to prevent it from happening causing people to shatter.

You don’t even need to spend money, just give them some of your time,

and their spirits will rise up, causing their smiles to shine.



We are a nation and we are one,

let’s fix this problem together and let it finally be done.

They are not on their own, there’s people who want to try,

let’s volunteer or give to food banks – acknowledge, don’t be shy.


Homeless people are on the streets of London and the numbers are increasing rapidly as each year passes. People judge them and they become misunderstood but the majority of them have ended up stuck in their position by no fault of their own. There are things that everyone can do to help them live better lives. Centre Point are a group who help homeless people all over London trying to help them. With your assistance through volunteering at fundraisers or simply donating towards this charity, you too will be making a difference. Here on this website, you will be able to find out dates of events taking place and ways of participating with supporting the homeless. Let them know they aren’t alone – help today.


Lucia Etheridge

Lucia Etheridge is in the final year of her English with Creative Writing degree. She applies techniques she has learnt and developed over the last three years to create her pieces. Living in Tunbridge Wells, she is open to the slow country lifestyle as well as the busy London life - this helps to influence her creative writing. She is yet to discover what she aspires to be in the future however, one thing that she is sure of is that forming various creative texts seems to come naturally. She thoroughly enjoys this and she knows that she would like to take this forward with her in her future career whatever that may be.