Guy Uses Wetherspoons Table Game To Help Homeless People
A kind-hearted man has made clever use of the JD Wetherspoon table game, as well as the current Eat Out To Help Out offers, to help out those living on the streets.
Freelance sports reporter Dom Dietrich, originally from Derby, has lived and worked in Manchester for just over a year, an experience he has described as being ‘absolutely class’.
However, Dominic couldn’t help but be affected by the issue of homelessness in Manchester, with the number of individuals sleeping rough revealing a very sad underside to the famously cool, lively city.
I myself live in the centre of Manchester and love the feeling of being part of a big, bustling city, the chatter and laughter from bars greeting me as I walk home from work.
And yet, there is no avoiding the fact that Manchester is not simply made up of trendy bars and iconic music venues, with the issue of rough sleeping visibly apparent on every street corner.
Manchester has one of the highest homelessness rates in the UK, with rough sleeping counts soaring from just seven people back in 2010 to an unacceptable 123 by 2018. Sadly, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
According to statistics from Greater Together Manchester, approximately 5,564 people in Greater Manchester are homeless. Out of this number, 1,804 are in Manchester.
These startling figures include people who are either living out on the streets or in temporary accommodation, but again do not tell the full picture, excluding the ‘hidden homeless’ who have to resort to ‘sofa surfing’ for shelter.
It is therefore impossible for anyone to live in Manchester for very long without coming face-to-face with this reality: human beings begging mere metres away from fashionable restaurants, or sheltering in the doorways of hip clothing stores.
Unfortunately, far too many of us have been desensitised to this horrifying dichotomy, pushing our guilt down as we fumble for change or mumble an apology. But thankfully, there are also lovely people like Dom out there, who take action to make things a little easier for others.
In a clip that has since gone viral, Dom can be seen using the JD Wetherspoon table game to have food delivered to The Waterhouse, a branch of the pub chain not too far away from the UNILAD office.
For those who don’t know, the pub chain’s app – used for the aforementioned Wetherspoons table game – allows you to send food to any table in any of its pubs in the UK, with users able to send out specific food or drinks requests out on social media.
Indeed, you may recall various reports earlier this year of financial dominatrixes using the app to demand that their ‘spoons subs’ supply them with beverages.
Anyway, Dom had a far more wholesome use for this app, requesting a large amount of food to be delivered to his table on a day when Eat Out To Help Out offers were available.
He then carefully packed the food into lunchboxes and sneaked it out of the pub, giving out the hot meals to homeless people sitting out on the streets.
Like many people living and working in Manchester, Dom became particularly affected by the issue of homelessness during the walk down from Manchester Piccadilly Station through Piccadilly Gardens, an area where homelessness is rife.
Like most people he felt ‘really quite bad’ about what he was seeing, and it got to a point where he couldn’t shut it out any longer.
Dom told UNILAD:
When this whole Eat Out To Help Out thing happened, on the first night I was sat at a restaurant and I was eating like a three-course meal for like £4, and I’m sat there thinking like, ‘Do I really need this? Can this not go to someone a bit more in need?’
That’s what kind of gave me the inspiration, thinking, ‘How can we do something to help others?’
Expressing concern for how the pandemic has affected those sleeping rough, Dom advised, ‘If you think your 2020 has been hard, think again because it could be a lot worse.’
I understand that is has been really bad for people but people are on the street, and they don’t have anywhere to go, they don’t have a roof over their head.
I’ll tell you something I’ve learnt doing this is that– and I didn’t think about it before – nowhere is accepting cash or change or anything like that. So when they’re asking for money and they’re desperate for money, nobody is really carrying cash or change or anything like that.
It’s just so hard for them at the moment. It’s heartbreaking.
Dom managed to put together dinners for seven people in total, and also spent time talking with them and hearing their stories. One man he spoke to had been forced to give up his council house because he couldn’t bear the thought of abandoning his dog, who wouldn’t have been allowed to stay there.
The video in question was taken by his friend, the presenter Rob Adcock, and Dom has been pleased by the ‘incredible’ positive reaction it has since had.
Dom feels the video has helped to ‘hammer home’ the message, and he has already spoken with a few people who plan to follow his example.
According to Dom:
These people desperately need help. I know it’s a problem all over the country. […]
If you’re in Barnsley, if you’re in Bristol, go for it. Have a go, and you’ll feel so good for it. I can’t tell you how much I’ve thought about doing it. Actually doing it was just incredible.
Look, I met a few people the other night and it’s nowhere near enough, but it’s a start and hopefully, if it can trigger other people to do that, we’re making progress.
A fantastic example set by Dom and Rob here. Hopefully this will spark others, wherever they are in the world, into taking action.
If you want to find out more about how you can help, visit the Crisis website for more information.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
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