Staff feel ‘immense sense of pride’ for Northampton students going out of their way to tackle homelessness
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Staff at a Northampton school feel an “immense sense of pride” that their students are continuing to go out of their way to tackle homelessness.
One year 10 student at Cambian School, a specialist provision in Queens Park Parade, recently wrote to Rishi Sunak to express her concern about the level of homelessness.
15-year-old Alysha Woodbridge received a response from 10 Downing Street, thanking her for sharing her views and letting her know that the letter would be passed on to the relevant government department.
Alysha and her classmates also learnt how to knit to create a large blanket for someone in need. All of the donated knitted squares were sewn together by a teacher’s parent.
The class has already given a box of donated food to the United Africa Association’s food bank and delivered secondhand clothing to the Hope Centre.
This is in addition to hanging coats in the park for people to take and wear if they are cold, and making and hiding ‘kindness rocks’ for people to find.
The work does not stop there as St Matthew’s Church has been kind enough to let them use the kitchen to make Christmas cakes for homeless individuals – thought of by student Billie, who is an “excellent baker”.
In the hope of making a difference at what is supposed to be a joyful time of year, all of the students at Cambian School will be participating in a five kilometre charity walk during the first week of December. The money raised will be donated to Shelter.
Teacher Sarah Roberson, who delivers the school’s community action work, spoke to this newspaper about the students’ hard work.
Having taught the students how to write letters to call for action, Sarah was delighted that Alysha used that knowledge to write to Rishi Sunak.
“Everyone felt a little bit hopeless about what we could do,” said Sarah. “Alysha independently wrote that letter.
“She’s very quiet and the power was in the pen. That was her message and it has given her a lot of confidence.”
As many students suffer with confidence issues and anxiety, Sarah was taken aback that one had been stimulated to take action and make a difference.
Talking about the work of all the students, Sarah said: “We feel an immense sense of pride. It’s emotional to see their development and to support them with this type of growth.
“With meeting homeless people at the Hope Centre, it gives the students power and strength to help. The school gives them a cloak of security to do things to help at a young age. It helps them go out into the community and have confidence.”
Tyler, one student who helped drop the clothes off at the Hope Centre, was given a “confidence boost” when the team expressed gratitude for him taking the time to visit them.
With the charity walk coming up at the start of December, Sarah said it would be “thrilling” to see donations and support from the Northampton community.
“Just to see movement and that the small, kind actions can actually raise money for others and give them a better Christmas,” said Sarah.