Teengirl was appalled when I told her I was going to No 10 Downing Street last night.
“How can you go there?” she asked “When his politics are ruining our country?”
“Because it’s not about politics,” I told her. “It’s about charity and children.”
The song ‘Jump’ by Girls Aloud played on a loop in my head as I walked up the stairs in Number 10 that Hugh Grant danced down in Love Actually and it wasn’t until I’d walked up a flight and a half that Winston Churchill slapped me in the face (metaphorically speaking of course).
The walls of the ‘Hugh Grant’ staircase as it will always be known to me from now on are almost papered in portraits of prime ministers past from Churchill to Brown and from Lloyd George to Baldwin and my mind wouldn’t shake the image of that most famous of PM’s Hugh Grant.
At the top of the stairs I turned left and then through a doorway. But before I walked through the door into the actual reception I looked up and was astounded to see a pink neon sign. Unfortunately I couldn’t read the neon writing from the angle I saw it at.
But that pink neon sign in Downing Street tickled me even more than the NYPD blue and pink neon sign in Times Square when I saw it 20 years ago. I so wished I had my camera to take that one photograph that would’ve summed up my Downing Street visit perfectly. I snapped it in my mind and it’ll live there forever alongside Times Square NYPD. But if you do know what the sign says could you please let me know – it would make the photograph in my mind complete.
Did you Know – children run away from problems at home into other worse problems like drugs and sexual exploitation
As I chatted in the reception with other Mumsnetters and bloggers, Ann off of Mumsnet HQ summoned me over: “When everyone else starts moving into the next room could you just wait here.”
I’m sure my face fell as the thought that I might be getting left out hit the light behind my eyes but of course I agreed.
And as almost everyone else headed through to the other room that housed the biggest chandelier I’ve seen outside of Only Fools and Horses I stayed forlornly put.
But my frown soon turned upside down (oh come on…I’ve got a toddler) when it began to become obvious that I’d been selected to meet Samantha Cameron!!!!
Did you Know – Aviva with Mumsnet has raised £72,000 so far for the Railway Children
And meet her I did. I shook her hand and I chatted with her very briefly about this very blog.
Can I just tell you right now that she is absolutely lovely. And as she spoke to every person in the room (including me) she seemed genuine and really interested in what we had to say. She also seemed genuinely appalled at the statistics and seriously interested in raising awareness of the plight of children who become homeless and how the Railway Children (and their partners) are helping vulnerable children by addressing the problems that could lead to them running away from home.
Did you Know – The Railway Children provide access for children vulnerable to homelessness to people who give a damn
FYI – The Railway Children is a non-profit organisation that fights for children living on the streets. They provide protection and opportunity for children with nowhere else to go and nobody to turn to. They are helping make the invisible, visible.
Look out for my next blog which will show how one of the Railway Children’s partners StreetWork, Edinburgh reach out to children who are on the street but not homeless yet. And I might also expose more of Downing Street shallowness!