SCHOOL children from Southampton have won an art competition themed on homelessness.

Amelia Szady from Oasis Academy Lordshill, Lucas Omondi from St George Catholic College and Madihah Choudhury from St Anne’s Catholic College provided the winning entries above dozens that were submitted from schools across the city.

Paul Woodman of both City Life Church and CLEAR Project Southampton organised the City Schools Art Competition with the winners having their designs included as part of the Homeless Commemoration Service at Saint Mary’s Church on Wednesday November 1.

The service will remember the homeless people who have died in Southampton and feature The Bishop of Southampton giving a talk, in what is the first service of its kind in the city.

Paul said: “We were blown away by the quality and quantity of the entries from the schools in Southampton.

“I am very thankful for the participation in by schools. We know the issue of homelessness is very real and we are saddened to have had people die here who have been homeless.

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“Many of them won’t have had a funeral and so this service will commemorate them and provide a place for people to mourn their loss. Congratulations to Amelia and Madihah for their excellent pieces of art.”

Speaking from the Homeless Health Care Team and organiser of the service, Pam Campbell, added: “I have been so moved by the contributions of our local children in this art competition. The entries show an immense compassion for people experiencing homelessness and mature understanding of the hardships they might suffer.”

Earlier this year, figures from the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities showed that the number of rough sleepers in the city hit 27 in the autumn last year, up from nine the year before.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Southampton City Council said: “Everyone deserves shelter and a chance to rebuild their lives, and as a city we’ve taken hundreds of vulnerable people off the streets and provided them with safe accommodation.

“In Southampton, we work closely with partner organisations, statutory teams, health care providers and charity organisations to offer emergency accommodation and support for rough sleepers to move into more settled homes in supported and social housing and the private rented sector.

“Sadly, the government data shows that street homelessness continues to be a national issue.”