Students focus on homelessness in Rawtestall

From left are film-makers Rebecca Hall, Molly Fielding, Olivia Bell, and Eliza Rayner

From left are film-makers Rebecca Hall, Molly Fielding, Olivia Bell, and Eliza Rayner

First published in News by , Reporter

FIVE students from Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School have created a video raising awareness about homelessness.

The Year 9 girls from the Waterfoot school took part in a BRGS competition to win £3,000 for their chosen charity, and have been prais- ed for their studious, and inspired, work.

Rebecca Hall, 14, and Molly Fielding, Olivia Bell, Eliza Rayner, all 13, visited the M3 Project, in Rawtenstall, which helps find accomm-odation for young people facing homelessness across East Lancashire, to find out what can lead young-sters to end up without stable home lives, and the potential risks faced by homeless young people.

Joanne Mitchell, senior project manager at the cen-tre, said: “I did a question and answer session with them, and they had obv-iously done their research.

“They asked lots of rel-evant questions, and it’s very good of them to try to win the money for us.

“They’ve created a really good piece of work and we’d like to get it put on our website for more people to see it.

“One of the issues we discussed was how homel-essness in young people is an invisible problem.

“You won’t necessarily see homeless people sleep-ing in cardboard boxes in East Lancashire.

“They will often be sofa surfing.

“This can leave them vulnerable because, alth-ough it might be a friend they are staying with, they won’t know everyone that lives in that house, and it can leave them open to abuse.

“Many of the young peop-le that come to us are 16, or 17, and they slip through the net.

“There just isn’t enough housing, which is a real problem.”

The group were five of 300 BRGS students to take part in the philanthropic project, and all the groups had to do everything from scratch, from picking the charity, to organising to meet them, interviewing them, and then making the end product.

Hannah Mitchell, head of Year 9 at the school, said: “It’s a really good project.

“It’s not just a case of raising awareness, or money, for the 60 charities invol-ved, but also teaching the students to become respon-sible members of the com-munity.

“We completely leave the groups to it, and they’ve done a brilliant job.

“I’m so proud of them.”

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