Jeremy Corbyn champions efforts of Arts and Media School Islington in supporting homeless
- Credit: Jason Wheetman
Jeremy Corbyn has championed the efforts of a school marking a decade of opening its doors to homeless people over the festive period.
Homelessness was a key part of a discussion between the Islington North MP and Arts and Media School students on Friday, as raising awareness about a raft of charities took centre stage.
The Turle Road school has welcomed more than 200 people into its building and off the streets over the course of a decade. It opens its doors as a shelter for 10 days each year following the end of term in December.
Homelessness charity Crisis has run the scheme at the school since 2007,
Student Porshia Johnson picked the MP’s brains on the subject during his visit.
“The school has made a very important commitment to supporting homeless people in the community,” Mr Corbyn said.
“I spoke with a member of the public who was at the school over the festive period and he told me it was the best Christmas he had ever had.
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“So I want to thank the school for everything it has done.”
The Labour leader also cited Ken Loach’s film Cathy Come Home as a vital social document of the housing crisis in the 1960s.
“I don’t want to live in a society which relies on foodbanks and has people begging on the streets,” he added. “We are completely committed to ending homelessness.
“Working class people with lower incomes are being forced out of the borough due to high rents.
“I want to give councils more power to provide 100 per cent social housing and to take over empty properties.”
Head Susan Service said: “The nurtured ability of our students to empathise with the social concerns that charities champion is a credit to their development into respectful and responsible young citizens in society.
“I am very proud of them – they are a credit to our school.
“We are a caring community and this is recognised by Ofsted, and we were once again rated ‘good’ in November.”
James Whittington-Phillips was singled out for praise after his fundraising efforts for the British Heart Foundation resulted in the school receiving a CPR kit which will help young people with life-saving skills.
Year 10 students, represented by Arianna King and Aaliyah Murrian on the morning, have chosen Save the Children as their charity because they believe that “every child has the right to food, shelter, family, education and a career – whatever their background.”
Double act Anjelique Lee and Shuana Maragh spoke passionately about their work for Solace Women’s Aid – a charity focused on reducing violence against women.
Another homeless charity, along with Crisis, being supported is Shelter. Jude Leeke acted as spokesman for Year 8 students who are bidding to raise awareness about people living on the streets.