The first ever ‘infectious’ wrapping paper has gone on sale on notonthehighstreet.com – the UK’s largest curated online marketplace – to help raise awareness and funds for homeless people this Christmas.
Designed to look like snowflakes, the festive gift wrap re-creates viruses which pose serious health risks to people sleeping rough this winter including the common cold, influenza and pneumonia. 100% of the proceeds will go to St Mungo’s Broadway, the charity which helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to rebuild their lives.
The innovative idea, developed by creative agency WCRS, made its debut in Christmas 2013 following reports that Britain was facing one of the coldest winters on record.
A total of 6,508 people were seen rough sleeping by outreach workers in London during 2013-14 – a 77 per cent increase in four years. Of these people 4,363 are new rough sleepers – the equivalent to 12 new rough sleepers a day. Homelessness has a huge impact on health. Rough sleeping is dangerous, and many homeless people are tackling mental and physical health problems. The average age of people who die while homeless is 47, for women it is 43. Ultimately, homelessness can kill.
Rebecca Sycamore, St Mungo’s Broadway Executive Director of Fundraising and Communications, said: “Homelessness hurts. As the temperature drops, we all start to think about our own health and keeping the germs away during winter. But if you are homeless, this time of year can be very dangerous. We couldn’t continue to support our clients with health, housing and work without the generosity of supporters like WCRS and we’d like to say thanks to the whole team. We are currently campaigning for changes to healthcare for homeless people and welcome support from everyone who believes that homeless health matters.”
Ross Neil, Creative Director of WCRS, said: “If you really love someone, give them the gift of the common cold this Christmas (or influenza or pneumonia). This unique wrapping paper takes the classic snowflake pattern and turns it on its head – using viruses which pose a great threat to homeless people during winter months to create its Christmassy design. All proceeds go towards helping those who find themselves at risk of homelessness re-build their lives away from the streets.”
The limited edition wrapping paper is printed on 100% recycled stock and will be sold on notonthehighstreet.com in packs on three sheets priced at £7.80 + P&P.