Keeping our community safe over the winter months


June 21st, 2022

Over the past winter, the university and local charity Emmanuel House worked in partnership to host a shelter on campus to help reduce the number of homeless people sleeping rough.

Between November 2021 and April 2022, more than 70 people who would otherwise have been rough sleeping were provided with protection and a place to stay on campus.

37 people were supported into other accommodation.

A number of staff and student helpers volunteered at the shelter over the months, assisting with meal services, cleaning and supporting residents.

While staying at the winter shelter guests received shelter, warmth, 24-hour support and three meals a day.

Ashley Roberts, Head of Campus Services, led the project. He said:

“It was fantastic to be able to make use of this empty property and to help out such a worthy charity. This shows how the University can have a real positive impact beyond the usual expectations of a Higher Education Institution and it has been great to see the positive engagement we have had from both our staff and student community following the announcement of this initiative“

The university was able to offer accommodation to Emmanuel House at a cost-neutral rate and worked with the charity to support residents to search for jobs, permanent accommodation and access to other services.

Denis Tully, CEO at Emmanuel House, said: “We are very grateful to the University of Nottingham for offering us a building in which to provide the emergency Winter Shelter.

It was also supported by staff and students who volunteered their time serving food, generally helping out and speaking with the guests.  Given the very challenging circumstances around Covid it has been a very successful season, which just would not have been possible without the commitment of the university.”

Viv Dickinson, Shelter Manager, said: “The shelter ran better than anyone could ever have imagined. The whole project was successful due to the amazing work from the university and Emmanuel House’s staff and volunteers.”

Overall, 66 people volunteered at the winter shelter on campus throughout the winter.

Debbie Keown, staff member at UoN and supporter of Emmanuel House said: “I volunteered for the breakfast shift at the Winter Shelter. This involved working with another volunteer to provide breakfast to the residents. It was a busy shift before heading off to work at the university.

“I enjoyed getting to know the residents and being able to serve them as they started their often-challenging days. It was also great to learn more about the work of Emmanuel House and to support the hard-working staff.

“I would encourage anyone wanting to volunteer at the Winter Shelter to give it a go. There are many opportunities to get involved in and to make a contribution to support our city’s most vulnerable people.”

Find out more about the Winter Shelter on Emmanuel House’s webpages.

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2 Comments

June 27th, 2022 at 3:17 pm

Jes Squire

How do we volunteer to help with the winter shelter this year?

June 28th, 2022 at 10:51 am

Cyrus M

Hi Jes – If you are interested in volunteering at the Winter Shelter when it reopens in the autumn, please get in touch at volunteering@emmanuelhouse.org.uk. Thanks.

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