Homelessness: a topic for schools and young people?

06 Aug 2021

Schools and colleges across Wales often work with homelessness charities like The Wallich.

When schools take part in fundraising activities, it allows students to work towards a common goal, as well as learning new skills such as teamwork and creative thinking.

Whilst the fundraising element is important and hugely appreciated, at The Wallich we also provide free, curriculum-linked resources.

Homelessness can be a controversial subject to approach in schools and can be challenging for children to grasp without raising alarm bells. It’s understandable that teachers or parents may feel anxious about answering questions such as “Why is that man sleeping outside?”

Recognising this, our team is now on hand to help teachers develop sensitive ways to raise awareness about the issues of homelessness.

Our age-appropriate lesson plans teach students how to talk about homelessness and inspire them to fight for change.

Supporting the curriculum – Ysgol Hendrefelin

Throughout June 2021, Ysgol Hendrefelin, a Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) school in Neath, took it upon themselves to do something about homelessness.

Thanks to the fantastic efforts of the school’s teachers and pupils, they are a shining example of champions for homelessness change.

Hear from class teacher, Rhian Duford, about their experience:

“Our school is introducing the Curriculum for Wales and has developed several ‘Big Questions’ to stimulate pupil engagement and learning. This term, the big question has been, ‘Can Kindness Change the World?’.

As part of the project, pupils chose to look more closely at the problems people face in society and how charities support those people in times of crisis.

The pupils felt strongly that they wished to support a homelessness charity.

We researched local charities, and decided to find out more about homelessness and raise money to help those in need.”

Creative ways to fundraise

The pupils at Ysgol Hendrefelin went above and beyond to raise money for The Wallich, creating a suite of fundraising activities such as:

In total, the pupils raised an amazing £163.90.

Learning the importance of social impact

“The pupils at our school have gained so much from this experience.

We have all learned the importance of giving, kindness and that helping others made us feel good too.

We learned that everyone might need help at some time in their lives and that there are charities that will help when needed.

The Wallich is truly amazing and helped us along the way. We will be supporting the charity again through future learning.”

Sian Kinsey, Fundraising Coordinator at The Wallich said:

“We are so proud of the compassion, engagement and support we’ve seen from pupils in Class 4 and 5 at Ysgol Hendrefelin.

The funds raised from their class activities will ensure that support is available for people who are at risk of, or are currently experiencing, homelessness in Wales.

It is so important that children and young people know about the realities of homelessness in our society, and that we teach them in a sensitive and compassionate way.

By doing so, we can make sure that everyone is doing their little bit to make a difference to those who need it the most.”

If the pupils at Ysgol Hendrefelin have inspired you, find out more about what you can do in your community to help end homelessness for good. 

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