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The Corporation

Posted: 05/06/15

A whole lot of help for homeless

Three Mansfield-based charities which support the homeless were given a bumper donation by staff and students at West Nottinghamshire College this week.

Mary Lane from the Beacon Project, Tony Lee from The Halls Project and Jason Rathbone, Abigail Rathbone O'Brien and David Minshull from JFA

Over 12 trolleys of food, toiletries and clothing were collected by staff and students in what has been dubbed the ‘554 Challenge’.

This initiative was the idea of Trudi Dean from the school of academic, public services and sports studies, who championed the project throughout. She developed tutorials on the subject of homelessness and shared this with tutors and support teams who then delivered it to every group across the college.

The aim was to fill shopping trolleys with food and provisions which homeless people in the local community would be able to benefit from at The Beacon Project and the Joint Forces Alliance (JFA), – a support service for veterans, and The Halls Homeless Project

The challenge, which is now in its fifth year, originally represented 5 teams, 5 trolleys, 4 the homeless and was devised by the school of learning. It has since seen every area of the college contribute something.

On Wednesday (3 June), representatives from the charities visited the college’s Derby Road campus to collect the generous donations and thank everyone for their efforts. A presentation was made in the college’s Create Theatre.

Jason Rathbone chief executive of the JFA, which is based on White Hart Street, in Mansfield, said: “For our own organisation 300 people per year in crisis and have no way of feeding themselves, benefit from these donations. Without donations like this we couldn’t exist. We work on a referral basis to ensure fairness in the distribution of parcels.

“This is one example of the people of Mansfield wrapping its arms around those in greatest need which is wonderful.”