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Student nurses lead local donations drive for homeless charity

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A pair of student nurses have teamed up with a homeless and refugee charity to deliver “little bags of kindness” donations to the local community in Chester.

Kirsty Dower, who studies mental health nursing and Jemma Sharratt, who is training as an adult nurse, collected 60 bags of items such as toiletries and baby supplies on behalf of the Supporting Homeless, Assisting Refugees Everywhere (SHARE) organisation.

 “We listened to stories about people who had nothing but the clothes on their back, and decided we wanted to do something to help”

Jemma Sharratt

They first met with the SHARE in May during Mental Health Awareness Week to discuss how they could help support the charity, which provides aid to people in north Wales and Cheshire, as well as refugees around the world.

With the student nurses’ help, the team accumulated small packs containing wash bags, which included soaps, toothbrushes and sanitary products. The pair, who are both studying at the University of Chester, also collected larger donations such as clothing, shoes, baby items and children’s toys.

“We were amazed to see how many people SHARE helps throughout the North West and in refugee camps abroad, said Ms Sharratt. “We listened to stories about people who had nothing but the clothes on their back, and decided we wanted to do something to help.”

“The SHARE team were blown away by our students’ hard work and determination”

Dean McShane

“It is such an inspiring and worthy cause being able to help people who are in such desperate need of the basic necessities we sometimes take for granted. I feel humbled to be a part of such a worthy cause,” added Ms Dower.

Dean McShane, mental health lecturer at Chester University’s Warrington campus, joined Ms Dower and Ms Sharratt on a recent visit to the SHARE headquarters in Mold, North Wales, to hand over the items they had collected.

University of Chester/SHARE

Student nurses lead local donations efforts for homeless charity

Student nurses’ SHARE collection

“The SHARE team were blown away by our students’ hard work and determination,” said Mr McShane. “While we were there, we even got to see one of the ‘little bags of kindness’ put to good use when a local homeless man’s key worker came in, desperate to provide him with some basic necessities.”

Throughout Mental Health Awareness week, students at the University of Chester raised over £400 for SHARE through activities including a raffle and bake sale.

Students can continue to donate items to SHARE through a collection set up by Ms Dower and Ms Sharratt at the Warrington campus health and social care administration office.

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