Young people on igen Leeds’ Foundation Learning programme visited St George’s Crypt in Leeds which is a Christian charity that has been providing care and support for homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Leeds since 1930. The Crypt comprises of:
- The Day Centre which provides food, shelter and advice for 80 – 100 people every day.
- ‘Faith Lodge’ – A residential area for up to 15 people at a time who have made a conscious decision to stay off alcohol or drugs permanently.
- ‘Regent Terrace’ – A residential area for up to 10 men who are dependent on alcohol. Drinking alcohol is permitted here within certain time periods each day and the house is under 24 hour supervision from support workers.
The young people were given a guided tour of the Crypt, learnt about the history of the Crypt and about the work the Crypt does to help the homeless. The young people enjoyed the refreshments kindly provided for them and listened to the experiences of a volunteer, who with the help of the St Georges Crypt, was no longer homeless and has overcome the alcoholism that very nearly killed him. The learners were invited to ask questions and, at the request of one of the tutors, were shown around the St George’s church.
On returning to igen the young people considered how they could help St George’s Crypt which relies heavily on donations. Some of our learners have experienced homelessness themselves or know people who have experienced this and were keen to help a local charity. From our discussion about fundraising ideas; learners decided to fill a jar with sweets and ask staff and young people at igen to guess the number of sweets in the Jar for a donation. The nearest estimate would win the Jar of sweets. The young people went shopping for the sweets and the Jar, created posters to advertise the fundraising activity and then approached Learners and staff for their guesses and donations.The sweets and the money were then counted and the number of sweets in the jar totalled 166 No one was exact in their guess but a very respectable estimate of 163 won the prize!
The winner was a learner: Abdul Bassat (who got into the charity spirit by paying for a total of 9 guesses) Abdul explains: “It’s a good thing to sponsor charity, that’s why I sponsored enough money for everyone in the Training room to take a guess”
Everyone’s generosity has resulted in us raising £53 for a very worthwhile cause. This became £70 after several members of staff approached us with additional donations.