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University to support homeless over the winter months

November 2nd, 2021

The university will help to reduce the number of homeless people sleeping rough this winter by hosting a shelter on campus, working in partnership with local charity Emmanuel House.

The charity will offer accommodation for up to 22 people per night – ensuring there are fewer people on the streets during the coldest months of the year.

Ashley Roberts, Head of Campus Services, is leading the project. He said: “By supporting this work, up to 22 people will be off the streets and in a warm and safe location each night.

“We’ve already been able to offer donations of clothes and other items and the charity is grateful to those who might also be able to offer their time to volunteer to support them.

We’re delighted that our Asymptomatic Testing Service can also support their work and help keep everyone safe. It shows all aspects of the university coming together to make a really positive difference to people’s lives.”

Staff and students can get involved by volunteering at the shelter between 8am and 10pm, helping with meal services, cleaning, and supporting residents. More information regarding volunteering is available here.

Job Vacancies for Shelter Support Workers can also be viewed here.

Muhammad Ali, Community Officer at University of Nottingham Students’ Union said: “This is a fantastic initiative from the university, and really reaffirms their commitment to being a valued part of the local community. I’m really excited about the opportunity this gives to students to get involved in a great cause by helping some of the least fortunate members of our society.”

Prior to the pandemic winter shelters, which the charity have been running since 2006, were based in shared spaces such as church halls. At the peak of the virus and as part of the Government’s ‘Everyone In’ initiative they were then moved to single rooms in hotels.

That provision came to an end earlier this year after successfully moving 179 people into accommodation arrangements but Covid regulations and restricted numbers meant a return to previous locations were no longer feasible.

The charity approached the university which has been able to offer accommodation at a cost-neutral rate. It will also allow support work to continue during the day as residents are helped to find work, permanent accommodation and access other services.

Denis Tully, CEO at  Emmanuel House said:

“The accommodation the University of Nottingham is able to provide enables us to build on the legacy of Everybody In when we moved 179 people into accommodation solutions.  I am very grateful to the University for all its support for this vital service as without its collaboration it is likely the service would not have happened this year.  It’s an exciting time for the project.”

“Historically the shelter has been located in a number of different residential areas around the city and has a record of being of the highest standard.  This was recognised when it was awarded the Housing Justice gold standard quality mark.”

This is a great opportunity to continue the ongoing relationship between the University of Nottingham as historically staff and students have volunteered at Emmanuel House and in the Shelter over the years.

The provision will last until March 2022.

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