Keele student launches local campaign to help the homeless

A Keele psychology student has set up a campaign to help the homeless following a placement year with a local charity.

Jodie Stubbs, a second-year psychology student, is undertaking a placement year with the Lyme Trust, a charity based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, which aims to help the homeless in the local area.

At the charity Jodie has had first-hand experience of working with these vulnerable people, sitting in on referral interviews and working with the charity’s outreach team.

The experience has led her to set up her own “Help the Homeless” campaign to raise awareness, and includes the use of posters to help signpost to relevant charities.

The posters include the dos and don’ts of giving to the homeless, with Jodie also giving out leaflets containing the names and contact details of charities and services which support rough sleepers in the area.

As part of her campaign Jodie has been meeting with companies and organisations across the local area to display her posters and further raise awareness, to try and ensure that there is somewhere that rough sleepers can go over the festive season or for Christmas dinner. She also ran two events over Halloween and Bonfire Night providing event-themed food to the homeless.

She is now planning on putting together homeless survival kits which include basic toiletries, socks, gloves and instant hot drinks, and is recruiting volunteers to help.

Jodie said: “My experience with the outreach team really shocked me, so I decided to just make a few posters and leaflets that contained information so the public and the homeless knew what support was available to them.

“Now, I have given out over 1,500 leaflets and more than 300 posters in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Manchester areas. I have also made contacts in Manchester and Birmingham to expand the campaign to bigger cities. Douglas Macmillan Hospice has also said it would like to collaborate on some research which I am extremely excited about.

“I am so overwhelmed with what is happening at the moment; the generosity from the public for donations towards the survival kits is amazing and I would like to continue to expand the service, including holding events where charities can discuss what we can do to help those less fortunate within the community.”

For more information about the campaign, visit the campaign page on Facebook.