Patrick Harris – Doctor of Laws

Friday 26 January, 3pm

Press comment: “I’ve never had anything like this before and it came as quite a shock, to be honest.

“I feel very honoured that people appreciate the work that I’m doing.

“I would like to thank my Board, the local organisations and everybody that has supported me and continues to fund the great work that we do. I would especially like to thank my wife Barbara, who has supported me throughout.”

Biography: Patrick Harris was born in Leicester and grew up in Highfields along with five siblings. In 1999 he found himself to be homeless for almost half a year and during that time, he attended a hostel where he met a manager of Christian faith who inspired him to join an Alpha course. He began to explore Christianity in more detail.

In 2010, divine intervention encouraged Patrick to walk into the Methodist Church on Bishop Street where the homeless charity, The Bridge, was based. Patrick engaged with the homeless people visiting the charity and became a regular volunteer. He is now Team Leader and Outreach Worker for The Bridge, a role which involves visiting the homeless people across the city from 3.30am onwards and informing them about services they can access through the charity including, breakfast provision, medical help and accommodation support.

Patrick believes that his personal experience with homelessness helps him in this role because he knows first-hand how isolating it can feel without the right support. He finds his work at The Bridge fulfilling because the heart of its mission is to provide support and guidance to the homeless so that they can get their lives back on track. Some of Patrick’s favourite working moments have been when previously homeless people return to the charity to tell how they’ve turned their lives around.

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