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Raising Awareness for Homeless Women in Leeds


On International Women’s Day, Tuesday 8th March, a team of eight students inspired by a talk from the charity Simon on the Streets, will occupy Leeds City Square for two hours to bring to light the complex issues that homeless women face.

A student from Leeds Beckett University, Frances Carter, 20, has teamed with Laura McHugh from Leeds College of Art to create the event that will launch a month of campaigning by the charity. The students plan to take over the space and dress the eight bronze female statues that stand in City Square with artwork that aims to expose the reality for homeless women and the problems that underpin hidden homelessness.

Sleeping With Simon
Sleeping With Simon

Frances, who is coordinating the event with the support of Leeds Beckett University said “I was really inspired by the charity’s lecture. After further research I realised there are significant problems women on the street face that need to be addressed. I thought of occupying the eight female statues in the Square, which are so often unnoticed, as a fitting action to increase public awareness of the issues”.

Development Manager for Simon on the Streets, Aissa Gallie, said “We were really pleased when Fran approached us. We knew this idea provided a great opportunity for people to gain a deeper understanding of what our clients are challenged with”.

The charity are following this campaign throughout the whole of March with the focus on women’s homelessness. The students hope to draw attention from the public with the event and inspire people to deepen their understanding on the specific issues surrounding women who are homeless. Bill Urray, Councillor for Homelessness and the Causes of Homelessness, has given his support for the event and will be in attendance on the day.

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