Money pours in from generous school pupils for homelessness project

Pupils from Meadowbank Primary School and council staff donating
Pupils from Meadowbank Primary School and council staff donating

More than £11,000 has been donated to a homeless campaign thanks to the efforts of pupils across Wigan borough.

Schools held a non-uniform day in June in aid of Real Change Wigan and Leigh, a charitable campaign which helps people who are homeless to rebuild their lives, with each pupil making a £1 donation.

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A total of £11,283.72 was collected and has been handed over.

It was a joint effort with staff from Wigan Council also supporting the day.

Launched last year in the borough, Real Change pays for practical items people need to build independent lives away from the streets.

It may provide a deposit for a home, fund a training course or buy clothes for a job interview.

Nicky Hill, headteacher at Meadowbank Primary School in Atherton, led the day and encouraged other schools to take part.

Nicky said: “As a community school we feel it is important our pupils understand that, as citizens themselves, they have a role to play within their local community, so they can help the community be the best it can be. This ethos is reflected in our school motto ‘together we are better’.

“Pupils, staff and governors at Meadowbank Primary School and Atherton Start Well Family Centre strive to make a difference for everyone and support those members of the community going through difficult times.”

A dance festival was also held in Wigan town centre on Saturday to raise further valuable funds for the campaign.

The Dance for Real Change festival saw crowds entertained with live performances throughout the day.

And dance workshops from WigLE Dance, in The Fire Within HQ in The Galleries, gave young people the chance to show off their skills and get involved.

Coun Terry Halliwell, said: “Tackling homelessness is more than just offering a bed for the night. It’s about supporting people, understanding their circumstances and helping them to rebuild their lives. It’s great to see local groups and schools supporting this cause.”

All donations to Real Change go into one pot which is then distributed with the help of local charities and partners, including The Brick, so people can be confident their donation is going to the right place.

Coun Halliwell said: “By donating to Real Change you can be assured your money is going to help the people who really need it. We’d encourage people to give differently if they do want to do their bit to help.”

To back the campaign or donate go to www.realchangewiganandleigh.co.uk