Sam’s ‘Portable Homeless Pod’ project

This month we were lucky enough to catch up with 10-year-old Sam, a young innovative designer, enjoying being back at his school Tuxford Primary Academy in Newark. Over Zoom, Sam told us about an art project he did whilst he was home learning during lockdown. His class were given a choice of issues to consider and problem solve. Sam chose homelessness because of a personal experience of seeing a homeless person at a park in a nearby town. He recalls seeing someone who had only a piece of cardboard, some bubble wrap, a backpack, some crisps and a bottle of water.

“I saw the man and I felt sad and angry that no one was helping. There should be more people doing something. I love boxes so I took something I love and designed a shelter.”

10-year-old Sam

The first full-scale model made of cardboard has doors at each end for safety and is made from a light, waterproof material.

“Then I thought about what would happen if that person had stored up some food inside but whilst they were out someone else came and took it. So I developed the idea into a portable pod with a handle, so that a person can take it around with their belongings safe inside.”

Sam updated his design, creating a scaled Lego model. Additional features included a solar panelled charging system to help with mobility of the pod, insulated walls for warmth, a fridge to preserve food and drinks and a wash bag.

Sam said “I really enjoyed the project. I feel proud of myself. It went from a tiny model into a real thing”.

“Sam only recently joined our school during lockdown and we were blown away by his work on this project. When we saw his design we thought – wow that is incredible! Sam is always thinking of others.”

Miss Cottam, Sam’s teacher.

“As Sam has shown, you are never too young to respond to the issue of homelessness. Already Sam will have raised awareness about the issue of homelessness through his project. Encouraging people to think about the issues and how they might themselves respond. What a fantastic achievement!”

Denis Tully, CEO Emmanuel House.

We see tremendous value in raising awareness and educating younger people on the issues surrounding homelessness whilst providing opportunities for children to express their feelings on the subject. In our experience, young people respond very well to information on this topic and many have taken great initiatives to raise awareness and funds for those experiencing homelessness in Nottingham.

If you would like to find out more about how you can raise awareness to support the work of Emmanuel House please contact: Rosie.Needhamsmith@emmanuelhouse.org.uk