Friday, 31 August 2012

Helping feed city’s homeless

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A 16-year-old girl is calling on people to root through their cupboards to see what items they can spare to help the homeless.

Jade Towers, of Far Lane, Penwortham, will be collecting tins, dried fruit and pasta plus toiletries, books and games on Preston’s Flag Market next month.

The appeal for donations in aid of Fox Street Community shelter, Preston, is the brainwave of teenagers who took part in a summer project called The Challenge.

The former Penwortham Girls’ High School pupil was one of 240 youngsters from the city involved in the three-week programme, which is part of the Government’s new National Citizen Service and led by The Challenge Network.

She said: “The project is about team building and helping your community. It was really good.

“We went on an Outward Bound trip to Scotland where we tried rock climbing. The second week we stayed at UCLan and had to cook meals for ourselves and in the third week we got involved with charities, finding out what needs to be changed in the area.

“I learned self-confidence because you have to pitch your campaign to a panel of judges.”

Jade said her group of around eight friends decided ignorance of homelessness and the perception of the homeless was an issue that needed addressing in Preston.

She said: “We did a survey and people said they didn’t see many homeless people in the city centre.

“Later that day we saw quite a few, so we didn’t understand how people were not seeing them.

“There are a lot of people who have stereotypes and say negative things about the homeless but it’s not always their fault that they are in that position.

“All the food and items we collect will help the shelter cook for them and make their lives better.”

A stall will take donations from 11am to 2pm on September 23.

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