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The Corporation

Posted: 29/06/11

Trolleys full of kindness

Two Mansfield-based charities for the homeless have benefitted from the kindness of staff and students at West Nottinghamshire College this week.

Over 2,000 shopping basket items were collected during May and June by staff and students in what has been called the ‘554 Challenge’.  

The aim was to fill five shopping trolleys with food and provisions which homeless people in the local community would be able to benefit from.  The challenge, which represents 5 teams, 5 trolleys, 4 the homeless, saw virtually every area of the college contribute something.

The initiative was the idea of tutor Trudi Dean, who delivered tutorials on the subject of homelessness to every group across the school of hospitality, sport, leisure and travel studies and has championed the project throughout.

Today, (28 June) chairman, Tony Lee and project manager, Karen Rollings, from the Halls Homeless Project, based on Westfield Lane and Carmela South, manager of The Beacon Project, which operates from St John’s Church Hall, visited the college’s Derby Road campus to collect the kind donations.

Tony said: “I am speechless.  What an absolutely fantastic challenge.  It’s really great to see such kindness from young people at the college.

“The centre is very busy at the moment so every single item will be very much appreciated by our service users.”

Carmela South added: “This is such a kind gesture and it’s clear that the students have a very strong awareness of homeless people in this community.”

Tutor Trudi Dean said: “This has proved a fantastic way of raising awareness of homelessness in the area. I’m so proud of the effort our students and staff have made in contributing to these community projects and I’m very grateful for the support received from the local supermarkets.”

Further awareness of the homeless was raised this month when a group of 8 college members and staff from the Halls Homeless Project took part in a ‘sleep out’ on Friday 10 June.

The group also included staff from the Myplace youth centre based at Westfield Folkhouse, Mansfield.  The ‘sleep out’ – in the Westfield Folkhouse grounds –acknowledged the plight of many people who sleep rough all year round and highlighted the support that The Halls Homeless Project provides to homeless people aged 16-25.

The 554 Challenge was supported by Tesco (Chesterfield Road), Morrison’s, Asda (Forest Town), Sainsburys (Mansfield) and Wilkinson’s (Mansfield), who all donated provisions towards the challenge, and Tesco (Oak Tree Lane) who loaned the trolleys and donated provisions.