Trollies filled for homeless charities

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Homelessness charities have thanked kind-hearted students and staff at West Nottinghamshire College for donating ‘vital’ food, clothing, toiletries and money as part of an annual appeal.

Seven supermarket shopping trolleys were filled with essential provisions in an annual college initiative known as the 554 Challenge.

Held annually since 2011, its name reflects the challenge’s original aim of getting five curriculum areas to fill five shopping trolleys for the homeless.

Once again, charities benefitting from the challenge were the Beacon Project, the Hall Homeless Support Project, Framework, and Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum (NNRF).

Computer science student Ebony Reed, 19, who supported the campaign, said: “Many people don’t realise the scale of homelessness so it’s important we raise awareness and do what we can. Providing homeless people with the everyday items we take for granted helps them in their lives, so it’s extremely important we give back what we’ve already got.”

Representatives from some of the organisations recently attended a presentation at the college’s Derby Road campus to receive their share of the bumper collection.

Andrea Lound, assistant manager at Framework’s Sherwood Street Centre, Mansfield said: “A lot of people that come to our hostel have literally nothing until their statutory benefits come through, and many of our service-users are on very low incomes. Topping-up their food through these types of collections helps them survive.

“As an organisation, we rely on donations. It’s so thoughtful of the students to get involved. It also makes them aware of the hardships in society and what can happen to people. It’s lovely of them to get together and help those in need.”

Tina Barnes, trustee of The Hall Homeless Support Project said: “It wasn’t so long ago we were desperately running out of money and the college really supported us through fundraising and donations, and got us back on our feet again.

“Young people sometimes get bad press but things like this show the many great qualities they have.”