21st December 2023
The City of Liverpool College supports more than 80 people experiencing homelessness at its annual ‘Open House’ event. The event, organised by students in partnership with Crisis and The Whitechapel Centre, is now in its 8th year.
Students from across the college got involved, including catering students and Air Cabin crew who cooked and served a free Christmas lunch for all guests. Hair and beauty and barbering students were also on hand to offer haircuts and treatments.
All guests were provided with essential winter items, such as hats, scarves and gloves donated by the college’s staff, students and partners. Crisis, the national charity for those experiencing homelessness, were also available on the day to offer support and advice to visitors.
The event was attended by Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, who praised the efforts of our students. In a statement, he said: “Now more than ever, our society needs to see more compassionate, human-led approaches to helping the most vulnerable in our communities.”
The Liverpool Echo spoke to some of the catering students ahead of the event as they worked to prepare the Christmas dinners, with meat and vegetarian options available.
Student, Recce Gallagher said: “It’s a shame to see so many people on the street and it’s obviously quite bad.
“They don’t get as much help as they should from those in power, so other people have to step up. I’m in my second year now so I’ve got a fair bit of skills, and those skills can be put to use here.”
Tony Cobain, Chair of the City of Liverpool College Board of Governors, said:
“For the most vulnerable people in our community, Christmas can be a particularly challenging time of year.
“Our annual Open House is testament to the compassion and generosity of our students and the wider community. As one of the largest student communities in Liverpool, we are so proud to see young people coming together to support those less fortunate, especially during the festive season.”
Sharron McGuinness, Director at Crisis Skylight Merseyside, said:
“We are proud to be supporting this event, which not only offers immediate relief and assistance, but also raises awareness of the pressing issue of homelessness.
“By showcasing the dedication and efforts of students, we hope the event will inspire others to take action and contribute to ending homelessness in our community.”