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The Cyrenians: Project 2

A record-breaking attempt to create a castle made entirely from cardboard boxes will take place at Grey’s Monument to raise awareness of homelessness and the importance and value of volunteering.

On Monday, Northumbria University design students, will work with staff and volunteers from homeless charity, The Cyrenians, to tackle the construction – in the attempt to break the world record for the biggest ever cardboard-box castle.

Dr Arin Keeble, The Cyrenians’ manager responsible for co-ordinating and managing volunteers, said: “Many people will work together towards achieving this world record-breaking cardboard castle at Grey’s Monument and in doing so we hope to turn the negative symbols of homelessness into positive images by showing what we can achieve by building together.”

The 40 volunteers will use over 1,400 boxes, donated by Greggs, Sage and TSG, to build the two-metre high, 60 foot square castle, including turrets on each corner and a gateway. The final box will be laid by Leader of Newcastle City Council, Nick Forbes.

The eye-catching challenge will launch a poster and animation campaign designed to raise awareness of the benefit of volunteering opportunities available through working with The Cyrenians.

The ‘Let’s Build Together’ campaign is the result of an ongoing collaboration between The Cyrenians and Northumbria University’s Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences.

For the last 3 years a design brief has been offered by The Cyrenians to second year Graphic Design students at Northumbria University with the potential that the winning design, or aspects of it, are then used by the charity.

This year’s brief was to design a campaign that emphasises the impact volunteering with The Cyrenians can have for both individuals as volunteers and beneficiaries.

The winning team created a vibrant collection of posters that encapsulate the message of individuals working together to change lives and build better futures.

Design student Richard Wylie said: “We wanted to raise awareness and promote volunteering for The Cyrenians and our job was to do this through design. We gathered some ideas together that we thought were a little bit different in putting across the key messages. Hopefully people will see how much fun it can be to volunteer together and how much their help is appreciated.”

Their innovative campaign will be featured on advertising, leaflets, and Metro trains and stations across the city.

The Cyrenians is one of the country’s leading and most progressive homeless charities offering a holistic approach to tackling the needs of vulnerable and socially disadvantaged people, providing emergency interventions as well as support, training and employment projects.

Mike Pinkney, Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at Northumbria University, added: “The students have benefited enormously from working with such a dynamic and innovative charity as The Cyrenians on this live project.”

Course info

UCAS Code W210

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

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