A letter to Oxford City Council Chief Executive Gordon Mitchell last December has resulted in an educational trip to the Old Fire Station in Oxford for a group of Larkrise Primary school students.
Mr Mitchell invited the Year 3 class to join him to visit the Crisis Skylight Centre at the Old Fire Station. Crisis Skylight Oxford is supported by the City Council to help homeless people gain skills and training and receive practical help and support around housing and finding employment.
As a result, 29 students along with their teacher, Gemma Golds, spent a morning there where they were able to learn what it means to be homeless in Oxford by taking part in a question and answer session, some improvised drama and a creative arts session.
Oxford City Council Chief Executive Gordon Mitchell said: "I'm impressed and reassured that young students from Larkrise Primary School have taken such an interest and shown so much concern about homelessness in Oxford. The City Council works with many organisations, including Crisis Skylight Oxford at the Old Fire Station, to help and we are doing all we can to make homelessness in this city a thing of the past.
"I want to thank Larkrise, its students, and their teacher Gemma for joining me in this visit to learn about and support the work that's going on here to give homeless people a helping hand to get away from living on the streets."
Kate Cocker, Director of Crisis Skylight Oxford, said: “It’s encouraging to see younger generations respond with such compassion to an issue that is sadly becoming increasingly visible on the streets of Oxford and across the country. We hope the day will provide us with an opportunity to demonstrate that homelessness is not inevitable and that together, we can end it.”
Gemma Golds, Larkrise class teacher, said: "The visit to the Old Fire Station was a great opportunity to see how the City Council is trying to help homeless people in Oxford. I think the experience highlighted what a complex issue homelessness is and made the children more aware of the many different ways a person can end up without the basic right to a home. Huge thanks to Kate, Gordon and all the staff at the Old Fire Station for all their time and effort in planning the visit."