Student support campaign raises £1,000 for local homeless charity

The University of Leicester’s work alongside The Bridge Homelessness to Hope has had a huge impact on students this autumn, and helped raise more than £1,000 for local rough sleepers.

During November, at a time when many students can start to feel homesick, the University of Leicester ran a special four-day student support event. Partnering with The Bridge Homelessness to Hope charity, the University gave away free hot drinks to students.

The University is proud to have a long association with The Bridge Homelessness to Hope. Not only do they run the ‘Ernie’ coffee cart which can be found outside the University most mornings, we worked alongside the charity during our Clearing campaign to provide a free ‘space blanket’ for rough sleepers in the city for every new student who registered.  

For the campaign, ‘Ernie’ came onto campus to give students a positive boost and to help raise some much needed funds for a charity which is very close to the University’s heart. 

The University paid for every coffee which was given away over the four days. The profits of everything sold went straight back to the charity, with a final total of more than £1,000 going to support people sleeping rough over the Christmas period. 

The Eric and Ernie mobile coffee wagons are managed by The Bridge to Hope social enterprise, a wholly-owned Community Interest Company (CIC), set up by The Bridge Homelessness to Hope charity. 

Lisa Warren from The Bridge to Hope said: “This money could be the equivalent of around 1,000 meals, meaning that we could feed 30 people for every day of December. We could also provide warm clothing, sleeping bags, blankets or payment of services for the people we support. It means a great deal and certainly helps me, Ernie and our new coffee van, Eric to make a difference to the charity.”

Professor Phillip Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Life Sciences and Trustee of The Bridge Homelessness to Hope charity said: “I’m once again very proud that the University has got behind this vital campaign. In a city where 22% of the population live in income-deprived households, it’s more important than ever for us as a University to help those in most need. While we enjoy the comforts of the festive period, it’s important to remember that there are people out there with no roof over their head, so I’m delighted we were able to raise this money.”

You can find out more about the work of The Bridge Homelessness to Hope on their website.