Latest News

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham Supports SHARE project

Date Posted: 29/06/2018 | Posted In: College News, Student News

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham visited College this week to support the work of the SHARE Homeless project co-founded by former student Jake Kirkman and ex College Tutor Sharon Wilkie-Jones. The College and its students, support the SHARE project, which raises awareness of homelessness in Bolton through literacy projects which are embedded into the College curriculum.

The discussions provided students and staff with an excellent insight into the reasons why people become homeless. Guest speaker David Smith was invited by Andy Burnham, to talk about his experiences of homelessness and to dispel the myths around why people end up sleeping rough on the streets. Students were both moved and inspired by David’s story.

Bolton Council representative Jon Powell and NHS Bolton Foundation Community Trust nurse Nicola Tomkins, shared their experiences of how they care for homeless people and help them get back on track with their lives.

The message was clear, that trauma is a key factor to why people end up with nowhere to live and that many people in our communities are possibly only one pay cheque away from being in real difficulty. Lack of social housing and job uncertainty are key factors in people becoming homeless.

The students asked a wide range of searching questions to Andy and the visitors and are look forward to developing their ideas in a piece of film for the BBC Schools report and also generating materials for the latest SHARE book to be published later this year. The book will explore hidden homelessness issues which exist in our local communities.

Andy Burnham commented, “Today’s generations are much more switched on to issues such as homelessness and its brilliant that this College has taken such an interest in raising awareness’.

Andy continued to thank the College and especially Jake, expressing that ‘the SHARE project is very powerful’.

The College is hoping to be the first educational establishment to join the Greater Manchester Homelessness Action Network, a strategy to end rough sleeping by 2020, and develop a 10-year plan to tackle the issues of wider homelessness.

The Performing Arts and Media Department are also supporting the Greater Manchester Homelessness Arts Festival later this year.

Find out more about SHARE https://www.sharebolton.co.uk/ or telephone the College on 0800 052 1460 and speak to Sandra McManus Vice Principal or Nicola Sodano Acting Head of Performing Arts.