Sixth Formers Volunteer to Help Homeless Charity

Six dedicated Ellesmere College Sixth Form students recently travelled from Shropshire to St Anselm Hall at the University of Manchester to deliver vital supplies in support of the Hall's fundraising link with the Barnabus Homeless Charity in Manchester.

Barnabus offers a lifeline to 600 visiting homeless and vulnerable people in the Manchester area each week, many of whom have severe addictions or mental health issues. This particular charity initiative was jointly organised by Martin Clewlow, Teacher of Chemistry, Assistant Housemaster and CCF Commander at Ellesmere College, and the Hall's Chaplain the Rev Hugh Bearn who have been friends since their undergraduate days at St Anselm's.

Informal appeals through the College's assemblies and tutor groups triggered a phenomenal response: 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.

At St Anselm, the students were able to tour the facilities and 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. There was also the opportunity to chat with the Bishop, Lord Mayor, St Anselm Warden Dr Ben Walker, and with undergraduates from many different disciplines.

St Anselm Hall was founded in 1907 and offers an almost unique "collegiate-style" university experience with a set of values which are very much in tune with our own at Ellesmere.

Participating Ellesmere College Sixth Former 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. I really value my comfortable home, 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 member of St Luke's House 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 1 ½ 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 College, particularly the Sixth Form, and St Anselm Hall will continue to forge links, both in supporting charitable work and also in helping to advise Ellesmerians in their applications to university.

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2nd April 2019  Back to News