St George’s Catholic Primary School in Shoeburyness recently held an assembly focusing on homelessness which inspired pupils to arrange a collection for HARP.
Pupils learned about the best ways to support charities like HARP, and they spent time researching the items HARP most need before arranging the collection. A Year 6 pupil said “I think it would be quite devastating to be told you have to sleep on the streets”. Another pupil added “we were inspired by the homeless assembly and we felt bad for the people that have to sit on the streets - so we decided to collect some food”.
During the last financial year, HARP provided over 67,000 meals across all of their services in Southend, but their Community Fundraiser, Lisa Walton, explained to the children that their donations mean so much more than just a bite to eat.
She said “when a rough sleeper comes to our Bradbury Centre for breakfast, they don’t just have a bite to eat. We will make sure that one of our trained staff members and volunteers spend time listening, and building trust, as they are likely to have been through what may have been a very troubled time.”
She continued “for many, breakfast at HARP will be the start of a journey away from homelessness."
As the weather warms up the charity will need regular donations of bottled juice and water to help local homeless people stay hydrated, and the pupils at St George’s plan to help HARP collect provisions for the summer months.
For a full guide to how you can help HARP support local homeless people visit: www.harpsouthend.org.uk/donate.