University students offer shelter to rough sleepers in Northampton during wintry weather

These students helped to put a roof over rough sleepers during the wintry weather.
These students helped to put a roof over rough sleepers during the wintry weather.

A group of Northampton students helped out those less fortunate than themselves on Sunday by offering warmth and shelter to some of the town’s homeless community.

The Students’ Union on the University’s Avenue Campus was open throughout the night to provide food, hot drinks, blankets and clothing to rough sleepers, who otherwise would have needed to brave heavy snowfall and below-freezing temperatures.

Sophie Turner, the union’s elected LGBTQ Officer, organised the effort.

She said: “Our main motivation was to ensure that people who had nowhere else to go could come to us and get sanctuary from the elements.

“Being able to offer this assistance was amazing and meant a lot to me. Indeed, we were humbled by how appreciative those in need were for what we did.

“But it was also saddening to see how desperate their circumstances are. That has made me more motivated to do everything I can to change that, donate more of my time and maybe make our emergency centre into a permanent fixture. It has given me a lot to think about and be grateful for.”

David Lewis, the Union’s Vice President: Union Development, said: “Sophie and her team should be extremely proud of what they accomplished over the weekend. As well as welcoming homeless people into the union building, they also went out across the town to take essentials to those who required them.

“Our organisation works hard to forge strong, positive links with the local community, and provide our students with the opportunities to help improve the lives of those who are struggling.

“Moreover, we have also recently launched our ‘Adopt a Charity’ scheme. Here, our sports clubs, societies and other groups choose a voluntary organisation to support formally, before being entered into a charity league to see who can raise the most money over the year.”

To find out more information about the ‘Adopt a Charity’ initiative, please visit the Students’ Union website.