Case study: Homelessness

YEAR 6, CHURCHILL PRIMARY SCHOOL, KENT

We decided to support people who are homeless and people living in poverty at risk of homelessness. After researching different local charities, we decided to support two local charities, Porchlight and Folkestone Food Bank. Porchlight is a Kent based charity that works to change people's lives for the better, by helping the most vulnerable and isolated people in the community and Folkestone Food Bank gives food donations to individuals and families in need.

We began by setting up a donations page through Virgin Money Giving. To raise money, Year 6 did a sponsored sleep-out on the school field. We slept rough for the night with only a sleeping bag and a cardboard box. This gave us an insight into the hardships of being homeless.

"It made them realise how lucky they are" Kate Lumley

Kate Lumley from Porchlight came in to give a whole school assembly. To raise further funds we made 'Pennies for Porchlight' money boxes and carried out a collection at our sports day. We were also sponsored to shave off one of our teachers' beard.

To support Folkestone Food Bank, we held a whole school Tin Day. This was like a harvest festival day, where all children in the school bring in a tin, or some other item on the desired list, like baby food or teabags. Later, a member of staff from the Food Bank came in to lead a whole school assembly and collect the food. This was important to them as they are a brand new sister charity of the well established Canterbury Food Bank, and needed food donations to get the charity up and running. To help us understand what happens to the donated food and how it helps people, we visited Canterbury Food Bank, where we sorted and packed food, and spoke to the staff about their roles.

To generally raise the profile of homelessness, we spent the morning in Folkestone town centre, giving out flyers we made. We included facts about homelessness, what Year 6 were doing and ways in which other people could help. The general public were very supportive!