How space at Leicester offers hope to others

Posted by pt91 at Aug 15, 2018 09:27 AM |
Space blankets for the homeless put University’s commitment to care into action

Issued by University of Leicester on 15 August 2018

Photo/video opportunity with The Bridge - Homelessness to Hope at 11am on Thursday 16th August at the Ken Edwards Building, University of Leicester – to confirm your attendance contact or 0116 252 2415

Every undergraduate student enrolling at the University of Leicester will help to make an out-of-this-world difference – with space blankets as part of a package of support to homeless people in Leicester.

The University will make a contribution to local charity The Bridge - Homelessness to Hope for every undergraduate student who enrols at Leicester in the form of space blankets and other essentials.

The number of people sleeping rough in the UK is expected to double from around 9,260 in 2016 to 19,820 in 2041, according to projections of homelessness cited in a recent report by national homeless charity Crisis.

Space blankets designed to reduce heat loss and able to withstand wind and moisture were developed by NASA. Leicester is the UK’s leading space city, home to the National Space Centre, Space Park Leicester and the University of Leicester’s space research.

The initiative will introduce prospective new students to the work that Leicester does to help support the most vulnerable, as part of a programme of corporate social responsibility of which The Bridge is a key partner.

Professor Philip Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Life Sciences and Dean of Medicine at the University of Leicester, is a Trustee of the Charity. He said: “I am delighted the University is once again backing The Bridge – Homelessness to Hope. The work that they do in supporting the most vulnerable in society is truly remarkable.

“Linking this with Clearing and with enrolment at Leicester provides a clear signal to all those starting at Leicester that we are committed to supporting the most vulnerable in society. This is not a one-off gesture but is fundamental to our ethos and benefits the city in which we are founded.”

Steve Owen, Chairman of The Bridge - Homelessness to Hope, said: "This is a fine initiative from the University of Leicester and extends their much-welcomed commitment to supporting the charity - through vital fundraising events, innovative initiatives for our homeless community and even to encouraging students to volunteer with us.”

The University of Leicester Clearing hotline:



  • Space blankets, derived from NASA technology, are especially low-weight, low-bulk blankets made of heat-reflective thin plastic sheeting. They are used on the exterior surfaces of spacecraft for thermal control, as well as by people. Wikipedia
  • The University has an established relationship with The Bridge - Homelessness to Hope which it has supported through numerous staff and student activities including:
  • Earlier this year, Patrick Harris, an outreach worker for The Bridge – Homelessness to Hope received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Leicester for his work with the city’s homeless community.
  • In March students and staff raised over £9,000 through a ‘Big Sleep’ – spending a night out in the elements in order to raise awareness of homelessness and the reality of ‘sleeping rough’. Another ‘Big Sleep’ in aid of the charity is now being planned to establish it as an annual event
  • A student intern has worked with The Bridge - Homelessness to Hope for six months to improve their marketing and social media and the School of Medicine’s Project Light has involved medical students offering support on our health centre drop in days.
  • Professor Phil Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the College of Life Sciences and Marie Muir from the Student Experience Team are Trustees of the charity and the University also hosts the charity’s meetings. Marie also organised a netball tournament on campus to raise funds for the charity.
  • The University of Leicester’s ‘Homeless outreach society’ student group also supports the charity

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