The society provides a range of support in Portsmouth, Southampton and the wider Hampshire-area to people experiencing multiple and complex issues including homelessness, substance misuse, mental health and offending issues.
‘We decided that we wanted to support a local homelessness charity because it is such a large issue across the UK and is particularly prominent in Portsmouth,’ said Head Girl, Chloe Wildsmith, 17.
‘In November 2018 it was estimated that there are at least 320,000 people who are homeless in the UK however this number is likely to be higher as there are thousands of people described as the ‘hidden homeless’, people who are not on the streets but have no actual home.’
The Society of St James has been running for 47 years. Since then it has grown in size from one church hall which could accommodate 11 people to a large number of shared houses, hostels and day and night shelter services throughout the county.
The Head Girl team will spearhead fundraising activities throughout the year to generate money and raise awareness of the charity.
Portsmouth High School’s Charity Week will take place in November. It has been running for over 25 years and is always organised entirely by the Sixth Form. The week is made up of talent shows, live music events, an annual netball match versus boys from Portsmouth Grammar School and other events. It culminates in a two night Fashion Show where the Sixth Form use business acumen and entrepreneurial skills to negotiate with local shops and liaise with local businesses to put on the show.
‘The Society of St James work with people to identify their individual needs and to find ways that we can support them to make the changes they want to see in their own lives,’ said Trevor Pickup, SSJ Chief Executive, ‘The support of Portsmouth High School will be invaluable to us and we are so grateful to the girls for choosing us as their Sixth Form Charity.’
Head of Sixth Form, Mr Rob Smith, added,