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Penwortham pupils to lobby Police and Crime Commissioner over homelessness support

Posted on - 15th May, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Education, Penwortham, Politics, Preston News, Schools
Students reading Stone Cold to suppose the Rise and Shine Charity.
Students reading Stone Cold to suppose the Rise and Shine Charity.

Pupils at Penwortham Priory Academy are reading a book about homelessness and connecting with Rise and Shine charity to prepare to write a letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner.

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The students are sending the letter to support the Rise and Shine appeal.  

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Rise and Shine Lancashire is a charity started by former Priory technology teacher Adam Graham and he is applying for funding to create survival packs for the homeless with basic necessities including toothpaste, socks and bottled water.

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The Year 8 pupils are all reading Stone Cold by Robert Swindells which covers the subject of people living on the streets in the 90s.

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English teacher Ryan Owen said: “I got in touch with Adam on the advice of our Head of English Amy Gidden to link up with his charity.  

“The idea of linking up with homelessness and well-being charity came from the book Stone Cold which highlights the real impact of homelessness and the effects of mental health, it breaks down stereotypes.

“Some people may think homeless people are ‘lazy’ but the book shows how you can have a stable life one minute and something can happen and you can end up on the streets. 

“We wanted the pupils to get involved and be emotive and they have really connected with the idea of writing a letter to ask for funding for survival packs, it’s something a lot of them now feel very passionately about.”

Students reading Stone Cold to suppose the Rise and Shine Charity.
Students reading Stone Cold to suppose the Rise and Shine Charity.

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The author of Stone Cold, Robert Swindells lived on the streets for a few days so he could relate to the circumstances when writing the book.

Ryan added: “Pupils have written a letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner and the letters will be put on the Rise and Shine website and some sent to the Commissioner.”

Pupil Oliver Hodkinson has written a letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner and said: “I enjoyed writing the letter and asked rhetorical questions in it like ‘how would you feel to sleep on concrete?’ I didn’t realise homelessness was so bad so it has opened my eyes.”

Toni-Leah Smith Dewhurst said: “My step dad was homeless so it’s a cause very close to me, it was personal to me.”

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