A Raised Fist & A Helping Hand

Pauline Town: An Inspiration To Us All


For anyone struggling to see light out there in the darkness, I give you Pauline Town.

Times are hard, and when times are hard some people crumble and some show strength and courage and determination and make it through; but others show that strength and courage and determination coupled with love and compassion and carry ALL of us through with them.

Pauline is one of those special people.

Just read this:

“Now the post I have been waiting to put up – the total for We Shall Overcome – Christmas here at The Station this year…….there is still actually a little more that may come in as a couple of people are rounding up their tardy sponsors, but we need to let you all know just what an incredible result you have all made happen.

The total is…………………

On top of that incredible figure, RMT Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region have just voted to donate a further £500 to WSO to be used on the front line in January and Joe Solo and Sean Mcgowan have agreed an action plan with me for that – incredible solidarity from their members and that money will be going out when everyone is skint after Christmas and the frost is biting making life hell for the most vulnerable out there. Huge, Huge thanks for that donation – it will help a lot of people.

Caretech have also of course funded the outreach and Tameside Against The Cuts food parcels in that total above throughout the weeks between the New Year and our first 2017 WSO event in March – awesome…..

Of that almost £8000, £3330 has gone out in cash already to other groups in our LINK to get immediate help out on the front line – that list includes Infinity Initiatives, Emmelines, Mencap and R&R, and also to the family who lost Dad tragically so close to Christmas, Katy and Anthony for food and to pay the deposit on that respite trip for Steve and Mary.

A further £2536 has already been spent achieving the initial aims we set and a further four or five, including paying the deposit on a flat to give an elderly gent who was homeless and will now be in his own home for Christmas…..

There are two more payments for flats to go out of the balance tomorrow – in total FOUR people will now have their own homes and a fresh start.

We started with twelve aims and were kind of hoping for £3000 total this year to achieve them, in the words of a friend here at the moment who is one of the lads we helped into his own home earlier this year – “If that total was an ass-hole, it would be walking like John Wayne right now!” Thanks for that Richard Whitworth 😀 xxx

All those aims have been achieved bigger and better than we had ever hoped and there have actually been another TWELVE achieved – an extra Christmas Dinner for 28 people not now facing Christmas alone, loads of donations to Age UK, loads of donations to WCBS, 72 homeless children here in Tameside now having gifts on Christmas Day, one refugee shelter given food, one food bank given food, one lady and young boy now getting Christmas after a bereavement, one carer and an elderly disabled lady getting a respite trip, three flats for homeless people, one family selling the Big Issue to survive getting Christmas help….and we have more stuff to go to Church of The Nazarene tomorrow too to help with their Christmas Dinner.

Well over FOUR HUNDRED people and 140 animals have been directly helped by Christmas WSO this year – and that help will be carrying on right through to next March. That is an absolutely incredible achievement – you should all be very, very proud of what you have made happen here. Thank you so very much.

I still have a lot of loose ends to tie up tomorrow and Thursday and there will be more cash going out to some of our LINK groups once I have done all of that – once I have Christmas out of the way, I will post up all the money in and out in full – it’s taken three of us all day to balance and collate it all and I have to go and get more stuff sorted out right now to get it out there to where it matters tomorrow in time for Christmas…..

For now, I love every one of you – thank you for all you have done – thanks to Joe Solo and The Miners, to the bands, to the poets, to the rough sleepers, to RMT, to Care Tech, to our family, to our MP and local councillors, to every person who supported, donated, danced, sang, spoke, loved and made magic – I’m in bits here you have absolutely blown me away with your solidarity and your compassion and your simple human decency – I wish every one of you an incredible Christmas and you know what? WE SHALL OVERCOME!!! xxx”


Pauline, we salute you, and we are proud to call you our Big Sis x


Author: Matt Hill Songwriter

Storytelling singer-songwriter and community artist who offers a British take on folk and Americana. Formerly known by the stage name Quiet Loner. Recent projects include a songwriting residency in a museum, an album co-written with people at a homeless project and a stint as a resident musician in a prison.

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