A group of socially conscious North Notts College students have taken part in filming the Christmas appeal video for local homelessness charity Hope Community Services.
The film ‘Homelessness Can Happen to Anyone’ saw scenes depicting some of the scenarios that can lead to homelessness including fleeing domestic abuse, losing a job and being unable to maintain payments on rent or mortgages, a young person leaving care unable to find an affordable home as well as rough sleeping shot in and around the Retford Post-16 Centre.
The students, who study Art and Design and Media Make-up at the Retford Post-16 Centre, showcased their versatility and talents by acting in the film. The students’ involvement is part of a social action enrichment activity designed to enhance student experiences and play an active part in the local community.
Hope Community Services run Nottinghamshire’s only 24/7 emergency accommodation hostel, Hope House in Worksop. In 2019 it was able to provide 387 beds, run 132 training courses and distributed 899 meals to those who needed their support.
The charity’s Development Officer, Katie Chubb, spoke with the students about how taking part in the filming would help the charity and raise awareness of homelessness.
Katie said: “First and foremost, the appeal film is about raising awareness of the different types of homelessness, people see rough sleepers and it paints a picture of what it is to be homeless, but rough sleeping is an extreme form of homelessness. Secondly, the appeal will help us generate donations to ensure we can continue to offer services to those who need us most.
“The impact of COVID-19 on homelessness has been significant. At Hope House, we’ve increased our capacity and the number of beds we offer from 14 to 22 at a time when most other businesses are reducing capacities. The impact of Coronavirus has been significant and unfortunately, we expect it to continue to affect lives over the coming months.”
North Notts College Progress Tutor Kim Coulthard has worked alongside Hope Community Services for over five years getting students involved in fundraising activities for the charity.
Kim said: “Supporting homelessness is a personal passion of mine. I previously worked in the homelessness sector myself for over ten years. It’s really important that we educate our students on the issues of homelessness in their communities. I have always felt each and every one of us is only a mistake away from being homeless; a missed rent payment, a relationship breakdown, a bereavement can all take us to dark places – one of which may be homelessness.”
North Notts College Level 3 Theatrical Media Make-up student Harry Wells was keen to be involved in the social action project.
Harry said: “I’m eager to get involved in this sort of project; I think it’s important that College is about more than just the subject we’re studying.
“I’m passionate about ending homelessness and getting people off the streets. I joined in a sleep-out event when I was in year nine or ten at school and have been keen to help in any way I can since.
“Homelessness isn’t something that should happen in this country.”
If you’d like to find out more about the services offered by Hope Community Services visit hopeservices.org.uk
Find out more about the Retford Post-16 Centre and the courses available.