Successful second year for Emmanuel House’s winter shelter at the University of Nottingham 

Date posted: May 3, 2023

A winter shelter set up on campus for the second year running at The University of Nottingham, in partnership with local charity Emmanuel House, has helped provide safety, warmth and food for more than 100 people affected by homelessness.

The news comes as the University has announced its continued commitment to supporting the charity by hosting a shelter on its University Park Campus for the third year this coming autumn and winter.

Between 17 October 2022 and 11 April 2023, the shelter on University Park Campus provided 3922 nights’ protection for a total of 107 people who would otherwise have been rough sleeping during the worst of the winter months. Each night, an average of 26 people were accommodated.

Emmanuel House supported 58 of these people into accommodation – an average of 2.4 people every week for 24 weeks. Nine people are now living in private rented accommodation, three people moved to hostels, 32 people moved to temporary or supported accommodation, four people are now living in accommodation provided by local housing associations and 10 people have re-connected with friends and family.

Whilst staying at the Winter Shelter, guests received shelter, warmth, 24-hour support and three meals a day.

Forty individual people volunteered at the 2022-2023 Winter Shelter, as well as 19 different groups from local organisations that cooked an evening meal for the guests.

Ashley Roberts, Head of Campus Services, said: “For the second year in a row we’ve been able to support this initiative and it is amazing to see the impact that Emmanuel House have had, using the university as a base.

“Homeless charities provide such an essential service, particularly through these challenging times, and Emmanuel House deserve enormous credit for the number of individuals they have managed to support. Over the winter the university community has once again come together to support this fantastic cause, demonstrating the values that are at the core of everything we can do.”

Denis Tully, CEO at Emmanuel House, said: “The partnership with the University of Nottingham this year has yet again been excellent. Emmanuel House is indebted to the University for providing a building in which we were able to accommodate 107 people in emergency respite accommodation. Without the support of the University of Nottingham this would have not been possible. The partnership is about more than just providing a building.

“The service has also benefitted from marvellous support from staff and students. Their commitment to offer us the accommodation again next year is a terrific contribution to being able to get plans under way for November. We look forward to our partnership continuing over the next year.”

The many reasons for seeking shelter and support from the Winter Shelter included relationship breakdown, domestic violence, eviction, immigration issues, hospital discharge, having no income, release from custody, fleeing violence and long-term homelessness.

Among those seeking shelter were a family of five adults who had arrived in the UK from Iraq, having been tricked into selling their land and all their possessions. They had been victims of trafficking and fraud and were falsely led to believe they would be able to make a claim for EU migrant status and receive British citizenship when they arrived in the UK.

The family had been staying in a local town, but when their funds ran out, they came to Nottingham. The police found them sleeping rough and took them to Nottingham City Council’s Housing Aid service. The family were then referred to Emmanuel House to seek further homelessness provisions, such as food, showers and clothes.

Staff at Emmanuel House referred them to the Winter Shelter, where the charity provided emergency short-term accommodation. They stayed at the Winter Shelter for eight weeks, whilst Emmanuel House’s shelter team worked in partnership with Migrant Help, the Refugee Forum and the Red Cross. The family moved into Home Office accommodation, which enabled them to get further support with their asylum claim.

Viv Dickinson, Shelter Manager, said: “It’s a privilege to work with the University of Nottingham again for a second year. It has allowed us to continue the legacy of our night shelter and provide safety to so many people.”


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