University and charity to join forces to help people who are homeless with campus shelter once again

Thursday, 23 June 2022

The University of Nottingham is partnering with local charity Emmanuel House Support Centre to re-open a temporary shelter for homeless people on campus this autumn, following the success of a similar scheme last year.

The shelter on the university’s University Park Campus helped to keep more than 70 people safe and warm over the worst of the winter months, providing protection and a place to stay for those who would otherwise have been sleeping rough between November 2021 and April 2022.

The initiative provided 2067 nights’ protection for the 72 people, while 37 people were also supported into other accommodation.

A number of staff and student helpers volunteered at the shelter over the months, assisting with meal services, cleaning and supporting residents. While staying at the winter shelter guests received shelter, warmth, 24-hour support and three meals a day.

It was fantastic to be able to make use of this empty property and to help out such a worthy charity.
Ashley Roberts, Head of Campus Services

He added: "This shows how the University can have a real positive impact beyond the usual expectations of a higher education institution and it has been great to see the positive engagement we have had from both our staff and student community following the announcement of this initiative.“

The university was able to offer accommodation to Emmanuel House at a cost-neutral rate and worked with the charity to support residents to search for jobs, permanent accommodation and access to other services.

We are very grateful to the University of Nottingham for offering us a building in which to provide the emergency Winter Shelter.
Denis Tully, CEO, Emmanuel House

He added: "It was also supported by staff and students who volunteered their time serving food, generally helping out and speaking with the guests. Given the very challenging circumstances around Covid it has been a very successful season, which just would not have been possible without the commitment of the university.”

Viv Dickinson, Shelter Manager, said: “The shelter ran better than anyone could ever have imagined. The whole project was successful due to the amazing work from the university and Emmanuel House’s staff and volunteers.”

Overall, 66 people volunteered at the winter shelter on campus throughout the winter.

Debbie Keown, staff member at UoN and supporter of Emmanuel House said: “I volunteered for the breakfast shift at the Winter Shelter. This involved working with another volunteer to provide breakfast to the residents. It was a busy shift before heading off to work at the university.

“I enjoyed getting to know the residents and being able to serve them as they started their often-challenging days. It was also great to learn more about the work of Emmanuel House and to support the hard-working staff.

“I would encourage anyone wanting to volunteer at the Winter Shelter to give it a go. There are many opportunities to get involved in and to make a contribution to support our city’s most vulnerable people.”

If you are interested in volunteering at the Winter Shelter when it reopens in the autumn, please get in touch at

Find out more about the Winter Shelter on Emmanuel House's webpages.

Emma Thorne - Head of News
Phone: 0115 846 8092

Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham

Ranked 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2023, University of Nottingham is a founding member of Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.  

The University is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.The University is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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