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West London school pupils experience Cardboard City

Mount Carmel pupil beds down in Cardboard City

Mount Carmel pupil beds down in Cardboard City

Year 6 pupils at a west London school recently took part in a project to support the local homeless charity, Acton Homeless Concern.  They began in class working on issues surrounding homelessness, challenging stereotypes of homeless people, and looking at all people as children of God.
The children from Mount Carmel Primary School in Acton, wrote poems about homelessness. The work they produced reflected a deep understanding of Catholic Social Teaching and the role of each Catholic in working for a fairer world.  The highlight of the project was the Cardboard City and Six Hour Fast. The Cardboard City, made by the children using boxes, is where they live for the day so that they experience being homeless at first hand.  They are not allowed in the school building or anything to eat for six hours. The school recently got an outstanding award in its RE inspection and its role in building Community Cohesion demonstrates the vast contribution that Catholic Schools make to society.
Teacher Tito Pereira said: "Each year, during Lent, the children of Mount Carmel School take part in fundraising activities. These fundraising activities give a practical expression to what we teach the children about alms-giving and the gospel message of loving our neighbours.  In Year Six we have a tradition of supporting one of our local charities, Acton Homeless Concern.  This is a tremendous Charity which works with some of the most vulnerable people in our society.  Acton Homeless Concern has two outlets, Emmaus House and the Damien Centre, both are located in Acton.
The charity supports homeless people by providing counselling, housing advice, medical attention, food, shelter and much more.  There is also a women's support group each week where families, who are in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfast can go and get advice and help.  Often this is the only time in the week where they can sit in a warm, safe environment during the day. Acton Homeless Concern runs solely on the goodwill of its volunteers and its benefactors of which Mount Carmel Primary Catholic School has been for over ten years now.
The Trustees of Acton Homeless Concern are grateful for the support that the school has given them over the last ten years, but this year they were blown away.  Anne Gray, the Chair was speechless when she was told and couldn't believe that eleven year old children managed to raise more than four thousand pounds.