A group of Shropshire students have travelled to Manchester to deliver vital supplies for homeless people.
Six dedicated volunteers from Ellesmere College Sixth Form travelled to St Anselm Hall at the University of Manchester to deliver over 1,000 items donated by students, parents and staff.
The initiative was organised by teacher of Chemistry and Assistant Housemaster at Ellesmere College, Martin Clewlow, and the Hall’s Chaplain the Rev Hugh Bearn, who have been friends since their undergraduate days at St Anselm’s.
Martin Clewlow said: “The response has been phenomenal.
“We put out an appeal in assemblies and tutor groups.
“Students, parents and colleagues at Ellesmere College donated over a thousand items to the appeal that will provide immediate help, including sleeping bags, outdoor clothing and personal grooming products – all of which have already been distributed to homeless citizens in Manchester.”
The move was part of St Anselm Hall’s fundraising link with the Barnabus Homeless Charity in Manchester. Barnabus meets 600 homeless and vulnerable people in the Manchester area each week, many of whom have severe addictions or mental health issues.
During their visit Ellesmere College students joined in a short service in St Anselm Hall’s Chapel attended by the Rt. Reverend David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, and Councillor June Hitchen, Lord Mayor of Manchester.
Student Tom Keay, who plans to read Economics and Finance at Lancaster University from September, said: “Homelessness is a serious issue that also affects many young people so I was keen to be able to give something back to people in need.
“I was amazed by the huge response to our appeal for donations that can help restore the dignity of vulnerable people.
“Our charity initiative highlights the enormous practical impact that many small donations can make when they are combined.”
Fellow student Sean Allen, who plans to read Politics and International Relations
at a London university, added: “The Lord Mayor’s reminder that the average citizen is only ever one and a half pay cheques away from homelessness really resonated with me.
“I plan to study in the capital city, where homelessness is an urgent problem, and I see supporting homeless and vulnerable people as a collective responsibility.
“Thanks to the generosity of our peers and our teachers, we were able to make a substantial difference on this occasion and even though many of us are in our final year of College, our charitable work will be ongoing.”
It is hoped that the charitable link between Ellesmere College and St Anselm Hall will continue, also providing an opportunity to advise Sixth Formers about their applications to university.