Help the Homeless Homeless Society was established in 2013 to try and help tackle the growing homelessness problem in Liverpool and to try and ease the plight of rough sleepers. Additionally, since the refugee crisis, the society has expanded to help refugees/asylum seekers as well. The society organises volunteering projects like the Breakfast Kitchen, which gives people in need a free breakfast every Thursday and Friday. Also, it helped organise the award-winning Sanitary Packing campaign alongside Femsoc, which gave much-needed sanitary products to homeless women. In subsequent years, the society has grown from strength to strength to become the largest paid society on campus and it hopes to continue its success in the coming year. Here is the committee for the 2017/18 academic year.

Hannah Nguyen, President – Rough Sleepers, studying in 2017/18: Third Year Psychology

“For the past year I have been Secretary for Rough Sleepers and I’ve absolutely loved it. So, I’m super excited to be taking on the role of President for rough sleepers next year!

I joined Help the Homeless because I found it impossible to ignore the prevalence of rough sleepers in Liverpool. I strongly believe that we should help others if we are in a position to do so; as students with so much free time, it isn’t hard to do something to make a change (however small).

This year, my main responsibilities have included coordinating sandwich deliveries, as well as helping to organise our meetings and events, through this, i’ve gained insight into the amount of organisation and commitment it takes to running the biggest paid society in the Guild. My involvement has enabled me to meet so many likeminded and – above all – lovely individuals. As someone who thrives off other people’s energy, working with people who are so dedicated to social equality and show such compassion towards others has been really enjoyable.

Next year, I would like to focus on expanding the society further and increasing our presence on campus. I’ve noticed that we struggle to bring in new volunteers outside of the fresher’s fair, so hopefully, with the addition of a social media coordinator/blogger to our committee, I hope that we’ll be able to raise awareness of the work we do and to encourage more students to get involved.

I would also like to start producing society merchandise; I’d love to see this through as I think it would increase our presence on campus and is a great way to raise money for the wonderful organisations we work with. I would also like to plan a fresher’s fundraiser, and to start a presidential panel to encourage collaboration between societies. The Guild is home to such a wide range of brilliant societies, so I’d love to see us do more together next year. As our society continues to grow, I look forward to seeing many new (and old) faces next year at our information evenings, fundraiser events and volunteering sessions!”

Lily Nathan, President – Refugees and Asylum seekers, studying in 2017/18: Third Year Psychology

“I was inspired to join Help the Homeless after I attended their opening meeting and the then Presidents gave a powerful speech, which made me aware of the severity of the homelessness problem in Liverpool. I was delighted to be elected Secretary, and absolutely honoured to be elected as President for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

As a society, we believe strongly in social justice. A lot of the work we do is inspired by a desire to alleviate the struggles faced by displaced people, both internationally and within our local community. In order to help people, we arrange weekly volunteering activities with local charities such as the Whitechapel Centre, AMURT, MRANG and the Homeless Period Liverpool. Also, we arrange bi-weekly information evenings and guest speaker events. Moreover, we fundraise for these charities by taking part in their events and through collaborations with local clubs nights; in the past we have worked with Melodic Distraction and Body Work.

During my time as secretary, I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of such an active society. It has been amazing to be surrounded by liked-minded people, all with the same belief that our current society is failing the many and it is our responsibility to do something about it. However as President, I am looking forward to reaching out to a broader set of people; people who may not share my political beliefs but do share a desire to help displaced people. Additionally, I am keen to add to our schedule of weekly volunteering opportunities by connecting Help the Homless members with local refugees and asylum seekers, to solve the pressing issue of integration. I am also on the look out for any related organisations to come along to our information evenings, to help with my aim of keeping our members as informed as possible about relevant issues, opportunities and events.

So no matter what way you lean, left, right, forwards or backwards; if you have a passion for helping displaced people please consider getting involved. We’d absolutely love to work with you!”

 

Hannah Iveson, Vice President – Rough Sleepers, studying in 2017/18: Third Year Psychology

“I have been a member of Help the Homeless society for the last year and during this time, I have been able to get involved with the wide range of events the society offers. I have also grown to appreciate he value it contributes, not only within the University, but also within the wider community through the work it does with other charities.

Through my work with the society, I am constantly reminded of how privileged we are as students to have an abundance of opportunities available to us, while for a large proportion of the world this is not the case. I therefore see it as our duty to do what we can for those less fortunate, to share what we have and change the systems that allow such inequalities.

I hope to apply my previous experience from internships at refugee charities and from my previous role as the President of my secondary school’s Amnesty International group to this society, in the hope that we can consolidate the partnerships already in place and possibly create new connections within the community.”

 

Naomi Butler, Vice President – Refugees and Asylum seekers, studying in 2017/18: International Human Rights Law LLM

“I feel very privileged for the opportunity to be a part of the fantastic work that Help the Homeless undertakes, and hopefully help to advance this inspiring society even further. I have previously had the privilege of being co-head of my local Social Justice League for two years, which I found to be an invaluable experience and which instilled my passion to be active in helping some of those most vulnerable in our society. Whilst my involvement through Help the Homeless Society only began recently, I believe that my skills and experiences as a law student and passion as a social justice advocate can be employed to my role in helping to further this organisation.

I am excited for what the next year of Help the Homeless, holds and hope to be involved in possibly setting up workshops supporting education and helping with legal applications for the huge amount asylum seekers and refugees who are sadly becoming homeless.

 

Adrita Chakraborty, Treasurer, studying in 2017/18: Fifth Year Medicine

“Last year, I volunteered at the Breakfast Kitchen events which provided breakfast for asylum seekers every Thursday and Friday. Also, I attended a Homeless Period workshop which focused on the increasing difficulty homeless women have to fund for their sanitary needs, making sanitary packs to distribute to the community. Furthermore, I attended an induction session at the Whitechapel Centre, as I intend to volunteer with them this year. Help the Homeless has enabled me meet likeminded who care about social justice, and it has encouraged me to give something back to a city that is very close to my heart. Come and see what we have to offer, you won’t regret it!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leah Verity, Secretary – Rough Sleepers, studying in2017/18: Second Year English Lit and Media

“I’ve been a member of Help the Homeless since starting university in September and since then, I have been involved in numerous volunteer projects such as the Refugee Breakfast and MerseyAid. I’ve loved my work so far, and aim to inspire others to act in the hope that they will get the same experience I was lucky to have. I feel very fortunate to be on the committee next year, and can’t wait to help our society to expand and reach out to more people.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annie Lenton, Secretary – Refugees and Asylum Seekers, studying 2017/18: Third Year History

“I will be taking up the role of Secretary for homelessness on the Help the Homeless Committee for 2017. I have been volunteering with the society for around two years now, getting involved in their Refugee Breakfasts, Sandwich deliveries, MerseyAid collections and much more. I have also volunteered at a food bank at home in Cheshire for several years, and plan to begin helping out at the White Chapel centre in Liverpool at the beginning of next semester. I hope to help the committee focus on increasing students’ awareness of our projects and encourage their participation in them also. It’s such a worthwhile cause, and the most rewarding thing I have done since beginning university!”

 

 

 

 

 

Abby Bird, Creative Director, studying in 2017/18: Fifth Year Architecture

“As the current Creative Director of Help the Homeless, I am excited to continue and develop the rewarding work we deliver and the ever growing range of volunteering opportunities we offer. In my role as Creative Director, I have established a brand that is reflective of the organisation, improved marketing of events and brought innovative thinking to the likes of engagement activities such as Chain of Hope, an interactive ‘homeless house’ and volunteering pledges.

In preparation for next year, I have begun prototyping merchandise such as tote bags for members and sewing packs for refugees, alongside developing ideas with the current committee. As a Part 1 Architect working in a socially focused practice, I will continue to channel these interests into the society and strive to ensure Help the Homeless makes even more of an impact in the up and coming year.”

Becky Hayward, Environmental Officer, studying 2017/18: Third Year Sociology

“I have been a member of the Help the Homeless since September 2015 and I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in projects and organisations such as The Homeless Period, MerseyAid and the Breakfast Kitchen. I have worked with an environmental organisation called Transition and hope to merge ideas with the environment and homelessness as they are both issues close to my heart.”

 

 

 

Lolu Ojuri, Social Media Officer/Blogger, studying in 2017/18: Third Year Law

“I have been involved with Help the Homeless since last year. I’ve attended MerseyAid and bags of love packing sessions, and I have also helped fundraise for society at events. I am looking forward to working with the new committee and becoming even more involved with the society. I’m excited about my role and I want to start promoting the ins and outs of what happens within the society through different social media platforms.”

 

 

 

 

 

Abby Meadows, General Committee Member, studying in 2017/18: Humanitarian Studies at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

“I have been a member of Help the Homeless since it started in October 2014. Since the beginning, I have been an active and passionate member of the team; helping to establish links with Kumar (our Asylum Seeker breakfast coordinator) and MerseyAid. Last year I was co-President of the society, and it was truly been an honour. I hope to see our society grow and flourish next year, particularly through educational workshops and discussions/debates.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dylan Thomson, General Committee member, studying in 2017/18: Third Year Politics and Ancient History

In the short time that I’ve been part of Help the Homeless, I’ve seen and taken part in the important and essential work that they do. Ultimately, every person in the society believes in one outcome: ending homelessness. This is why I have been so keen to be a part of this committee and help with the multiple events and volunteering opportunities that come along with it. So far, I have helped deliver sandwiches from the Guild to the Whitechapel Homeless Shelter and have also helped pack donations for MerseyAid, a charity for refugees. I’m looking forward to working with everyone to create even more opportunities, especially for those around the University who have never taken part in the society before.