The University of Winchester and Winchester Churches Nightshelter have joined forces to ensure that household items, clothes and unopened canned food no longer needed by first-year students heading home for the summer are given a second life, thanks to the University’s Bag It Up initiative

More than 500 green bags weighing roughly 1.8 tonnes in total were donated by students living in University on-site accommodation, with over 1.2 tonnes benefiting a number of charities in the city, including Winchester Basics Bank and Emmaus Hampshire, as well as Winchester Churches Nightshelter.

Campus Manager, Ian Tonks, contacted the Nightshelter to see if they could make use of items such as blankets, pans, clothes, kettles and canned food. “With sustainability firmly at the top of the University’s agenda, we are committed to recycling and reusing as many of these items as possible, many of which are left by international students with luggage restrictions for the flight home. Our Bag It Up initiative – now in its third year – prevents reusable goods from ending up in landfill and enables us to partner with a number of local charities to provide donations that really help their work,” said Ian Tonks.

The Nightshelter works closely with its seventeen residents to find a route to longer term accommodation. When the residents move out it is really helpful to be able to provide them with a starter pack as Nightshelter Manager, Michèle Price explained:

“We are going to make up moving on packs with the items kindly donated by the University of Winchester. The packs will consist of pans, bedding and food so that our residents have the basics when they move to their own accommodation. We’d like to thank the University of Winchester for making contact and offering support for our work.”

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