World Homeless Day: how staff and students can get involved

Today is World Homeless Day (Monday 10 October) an annual event aimed at drawing attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness.

Since World Homeless Day last year, Manchester Metropolitan University has signed up to the Manchester Homelessness Charter (May 2016).

Manchester Metropolitan’s Charter pledges:

 Pledge 1: Engage in research-related activity guided by the priorities of the Manchester Homelessness Partnership

Pledge 2: Raise awareness of the Charter and highlight the most effective ways for staff and students to help those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Pledge 3: Promote opportunities for staff and students to engage in volunteering, fundraising and other potential projects in support of the Charter.

Pledge 4: Actively support the Big Change Fund – Manchester’s alternative Giving Campaign.

  • The Charter was developed by groups working alongside people who have experienced homelessness, with their voices at its core, and is the city’s new approach to tackling homelessness.
  • One strand of this approach is the Big Change Fund, Manchester’s alternative giving campaign, that aims to maximise the use of public donations for the benefit of people who are homeless. You can find out more at https://streetsupport.net/
  • If you are looking at the best ways to support homeless charities either through donations of time or resources please take a look at StreetSupport.net, a central website uniting all the charities and voluntary groups that support people who are homeless with those who would like to help.
  • You can use the Give Help section to find out what items, money or people local homelessness organisations currently need.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing more information about how staff and students can get involved in ending homelessness in Manchester.

In the meantime, this week (Wednesday 12 October) The Union will be delivering a volunteering in homelessness event in collaboration with representatives from a range of organisations involved with the Homeless Charter, including Street Support. For more details: https://www.theunionmmu.org/ents/event/3202/.

We are also inviting staff to get in touch if they would like to find out more about becoming a Big Change ambassador.

Staff from Services will be amongst the first to take part in Big Change Ambassador training in November, subject to interest we will run further sessions.

The aim of the training is to:

  • raise awareness of the Manchester Homelessness Charter and the University’s commitment to it;
  • outline the importance of alternative giving and promoting the Big Change campaign to help end homelessness in Manchester
  • Support services available across the City and appropriate ways of signposting those in need
  • Expected responsibilities of an Ambassador and explain the difference you can make
  • If you are interested in becoming a Big Change Ambassador contact engagement@mmu.ac.uk
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