University of Winchester student volunteers help light a way out of homelessness
Students from the University of Winchester led a Night Walk around the city to raise awareness of the work of homeless charity, The Winchester Beacon earlier this month.
Eight student volunteers planned and co-ordinated the event as part of their volunteering module, an optional module on many University of Winchester degree programmes, which enables students to be active citizens in the local community.
Around 50 students, volunteers, supporters, staff and residents from The Winchester Beacon gathered at Winchester Cathedral to begin the walk.
Armed with glow sticks, the walkers looped around the city ending at The Winchester Beacon on Jewry Street. Walkers were treated to hot chocolate at the end of the route with the opportunity to donate to support the vital work of the charity.
The student volunteers who organised the Night Walk are: Tyler Bradley; Sophie Brennan; Chloe Moss; Beatrix Cattermull; Taya Fernandez; Valentina George; Prisu Gurung, and Milja Tuulari.
Student Beatrix Cattermull said: "As part of the student volunteering team, we helped organise the Night Walk event for The Winchester Beacon. After working closely with The Beacon, it became apparent that they had copious amount of support from the local community and the walk seemed a great idea! The student volunteering group helped orchestrate the event and our aim was to gain awareness of The Winchester Beacon and shine a light on people who are suffering from homelessness."
Social justice is at the heart of the University and students and staff are actively encouraged to volunteer in the local community in which they live and work. The University has a valued network of community partners and organisations who offer opportunities for everyone to volunteer and make a difference. Opportunities outside of the curriculum are available via the University's Employer Supported Volunteering scheme, the Opportunities Hub and Winchester Hub.
Naomi Irving, Volunteering Placement Co-ordinator at the University of Winchester, said: "As a values-based University, we encourage students to contribute to local community organisations through volunteering opportunities and support them to become active citizens beyond their time here at Winchester."
Michèle Price, Chief Executive of The Winchester Beacon commented: "The walk was a really special event. It was very poignant being part of a group that included people from different sectors of our local community walking together to highlight the path that we light out of homelessness. We are extremely grateful to the group of students involved for the hard work which went into making this event possible."
The Winchester Beacon, formerly known as Winchester Churches Nightshelter, has been supporting people in the city who are experiencing homelessness for over 30 years.
Visit www.winchesterbeacon.org.uk to discover how you can support people faced with homelessness this Christmas.
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All photos courtesy: The Winchester Beacon.