Shelter’s Christmas campaign features heart-wrenching story of girl, 8, who is as ‘good as gold’ in the hope her family can get a proper home
- Housing and homelessness charity Shelter has launched its Christmas campaign
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The heart-wrencing tale of a little girl who is desperate for Santa to find a forever home for her family is at the heart of this year’s Shelter Christmas campaign.
The housing and homelessness charity has released a short film, entitled ‘Good As Gold’ which follows Maddy, played by eight year old Tilly Walker.
It opens like a typical feel-good Christmas film in the style of warm-hearted TV ad campaigns before delivering an emotional ending.
In the clip we see Maddy being as ‘good as gold’ in the hope of being rewarded with the one thing she wants the most for Christmas – a proper home.
The tear-jerker starts with Maddy overhearing a post office worker telling another child to be ‘as good as gold, and you will get just what you want,’ as she posted her letter to Santa.
This motivated Maddy to be as helpful as possible in the run up to Christmas Day, opening doors for strangers, giving up her seat on the bus and helping her neighbour run errands.
However waking up on Christmas morning, she was upset to realise she was still in the one-room temporary accommodation with her mother and baby brother.
Looking around the room, which is packed with bags of their belongings, she says: ‘But, I have been so good.’
Shelter estimates that this year more than 131,000 children in England will wake up on Christmas day in temporary accommodation, an increase of more than 10,000 since last year and the record highest ever.
The film, set to the 1986 hit Higher Love by Steve Winwood, follows the launch of last year’s successful ‘Brave Face’ campaign, which also featured a young child spending Christmas in temporary accommodation.
Shelter and Don’t Panic, the creative agency behind the campaign, worked closely with people who have lived in temporary accommodation to recreate the conditions they faced, including damp living conditions, mould on the walls and an entire family sharing one bed, as well as the emotional impact on the family.
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Shelter said: ‘There are now over 131,000 homeless children stuck in temporary accommodation, the highest number recorded.
Housing and homelessness charity Shelter has launched its Christmas campaign with an emotional advert
At the heart of the campaign is the film, entitled ‘Good As Gold’ which follows Maddy, played by eight year old Tilly Walker
It opens like a typical feel-good Christmas film in the style of warm-hearted TV ad campaigns before delivering an emotional ending
In the clip we see Maddy being as ‘good as gold’ in the hope of being rewarded with the one thing she wants the most for Christmas – a home
‘This advert brings to life what it really means for a child to have nowhere to call home. Make no mistake: a cramped hostel room or a run-down bedsit is not a home, but this is where far too many children will be waking up on Christmas morning.
‘As we head into winter, Shelter is doing everything we can to help the thousands of families facing homelessness this Christmas.
‘Our expert advisers are working in communities across the country, they are taking calls at our emergency helpline, and they are providing free, expert case work.
‘But as more people turn to Shelter, we need the public to help those wishing for a home.
‘By giving what you can, we can support thousands of families facing homelessness this winter.’
As more people turn to Shelter for help, the charity needs further support from the public to help the thousands of families facing homelessness this winter.
Rick Dodds, Creative Partner at Don’t Panic London, said: ‘We wanted to build on the success of last year’s ‘Brave Face’ campaign and captivate the public with our latest work for Shelter and have them fall in love with Maddy and even laugh along with her.
‘We didn’t want anyone to guess that she was homeless. By driving as much joy as possible in the first section of the film, we knew the reveal would land harder and make everyone care more about Maddy and her situation.’
The heart-wrenching film is set to the iconic 1986 Higher Love soundtrack by Steve Winwood
In the clip the child is seen helping her neighbour with tasks including dragging her christmas tree to her house
Later she is seen bringing her next door neighbours grocery shopping to her house
The campaign highlights that over 131,000 children will be wishing for a home this Christmas, waking up in a cramped hostel room or a run-down bedsit, while many thousands more are at risk of losing their homes amid rising housing costs and evictions.
Shelter’s partner HSBC UK will be sponsoring the media space for the advert as it runs across TV networks throughout the Winter period.
Luke Harper, Head of Partnerships at HSBC UK, said: ‘We’re proud to be supporting Shelter’s Good as Gold advert and helping make sure it reaches as many people as possible this holiday season.
‘Homelessness and poor financial health often go hand in hand, which is why HSBC UK is partnering with Shelter to help people build financial resilience and break the vicious circle of homelessness.’
Please visit www.shelter.org.uk/donate to donate.
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