People / Help Bristol's Homeless

Founder of Help Bristol’s Homeless awarded honorary degree

By sophie downes, Friday Feb 21, 2020

Jasper Thompson, the founder of Help Bristol’s Homeless, has been recognised by the University of Bristol for his work in providing accommodation for homeless people.

Thompson is responsible for the housing scheme which saw the transformation of 20 shipping containers into place for Bristol’s homeless to live.

The containers form a gated community where homeless individuals are given residence, amenities and the necessary support to move into a more permanent location. In the past, the charity also oversaw the transformation of a double decker bus into an overnight sleeper, the 360Winx.

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In recognition of Jasper’s continued influential work supporting the homeless community, the University of Bristol has awarded the campaigner with an honourary doctorate degree.

Speaking to Bristol24/7, Jasper recounted the inspirations for his project following a particularly cold night, saying: “I just went home one evening and said, ‘I’m going to help the homeless’.”

Having started out by handing out warm coffees to the homeless and volunteering at outreach programs, Jasper felt he needed to do more.

“For me, homeless people deserve better than just a sleeping bag and hot meal and then you go home. That didn’t sit well with me.

“I feel that people deserve better. That’s why I set up the shipping container. You’ve got to think out of the box.”

Jasper Thompson with the 360Wix. Photo courtesy of Bristol24/7

With future plans to replicate the shipping container scheme internationally in New York, South Africa and Barcelona, alongside numerous places within the UK, Thompson’s impact has been felt globally.

However, Jasper appeared taken aback by the University of Bristol’s choice to honour him, saying:”‘I don’t really think about it, I just get on with it. It’s only on occasions such as this that I understand the impact of what I’m doing.

“But I don’t dwell – there’s so much to be done.”

For more information on the shipping containers or for ways to get involved with Help Bristol’s Homeless, visit www.helpbristolshomeless.org/volunteer/

Main photo courtesy of the University of Bristol

Read More:  Breakfast with Bristol24/7: Jasper Thompson 

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