Exeposé is proud to support the University of Exeter’s YMCA society’s new initiative labelled #Selfieless to promote awareness of homelessness in the city.
The campaign involves anyone uploading a selfie (with their face concealed) to social media, in an effort to boost funds for the YMCA, which actively supports homeless youth in Exeter. The society has already had around 50 people take part at the time of going to print.
Government figures indicate the number of rough sleepers in Exeter is among the highest in the South West, with 34 people sleeping on the streets last autumn.
Huw Hides, YMCA Soc president and third year International Relations with French and Arabic student, said: “It’s very easy, when walking through town, to look down and just see ‘another homeless person’ without seeing a person with a personality and an identity.
“#Selfieless is a small way to raise awareness of this by hiding your face in some way in a selfie, while also raising money for a charity which does a lot of amazing work and is making positive changes in tangible ways in the lives of young people here in Exeter.”
The University YMCA society was created earlier this year and Hides told Exeposé it exists to “raise awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness, launching campaigns and standing in solidarity with those who find themselves homeless”.
As of late 2014, Exeter YMCA has supported 55 young people with accommodation needs. The #Selfieless campaign hopes to raise £5,000 for the YMCA, funding nine months of accommodation for one young person. So far, the total donated currently stands at £600.
Currently, one in 18 young people in and around Exeter will face homelessness during their youth.
VP Activities Matt Bate commented: “YMCA is a new Students’ Guild society and its members are already taking big strides towards their chosen aims.
“The #Selfieless campaign is a great innovative idea that will channel the obsession with selfies into helping young homeless people in our community.
2,774 people were recorded as having slept rough in England in 2014, with the charity Young Devon saying youth homelessness in the region is at “crisis point.”
YMCA Exeter provides support for the young homeless in a variety of different ways and University students are able to undertake volunteer placements with them.
They also provide support to ex- offenders and hold weekly youth clubs.
Akash Beri, Screen Editor
Susannah Keogh, News Editor