At the end of last year, we asked students and staff to ‘just buy one more’ so we could provide washbags to Bristol’s homeless and boy did you deliver! We want to share with you where your donations ended up, tell you what a great thing the volunteers at Streetlife are doing, but mostly just say a big thank you to everyone that donated.
In November last year we put out collection points at each campus:
And within less than a month we had collected hundreds of items.
We bagged up all the goodies, putting at least three items in each bag, most of them containing a shower gel, shampoo and a chocolate bar.
With all your donations we were able to pack 73 bags, that’s at least 219 items! Amazing!
On 18 December in the midst of Storm Bella, we headed to Brunswick Square in Bristol to hand out the wash bags that we had collected. We joined a group of volunteers who go out every single Saturday to give out essentials to people who are homeless or in need. They work like a well-oiled machine, and out of the back of their cars, they whipped out tables, lights and PPE.
While people began to queue the team set out what was on offer, as well as our table, of ‘gifts’ the other tables which are there every week include a table of hot food - baked potatoes or chicken pasta bake, a table of cold foods - sandwiches, crisps and boiled eggs (all the food was made and bought by the volunteers) and a table of essentials such as wet wipes and deodorants and a table of clothes.
It was cold and rainy and some people who came said that they hadn’t eaten anything for a day or two which just affirmed just how much groups like StreetLife are needed. Everyone was so friendly and thanked us for their bags, some of the volunteers sang carols to the waiting queue or picked up rubbish from around the square. They had regular guests who they would greet by name and chat to. It was clear people appreciated knowing that without fail, Streetlife would be there consistently every Saturday.
Since doing this the management team at the Students Union shop has connected with Richard who was our go-to man at Streetlife, so if there is ever any surplus food that would otherwise go to waste they can contact him, knowing that it will go to a worthwhile place!
Streetlife statement: We are so grateful to the UWE students and staff. Your wash packs were fabulous and so well received. It is so encouraging for the team when we receive support from the community. We were so pleased that you were available to hand out the gifts.
If anyone would like to get in touch with Streetlife for more information on what they do or how to volunteer, you can contact them using this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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