Last Thursday our founder Jasper Thompson was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Bristol, to mark his dedicated and innovative services to Bristol’s homeless community. What a proud day for Jasper, his family and the entire HBH team.
Here’s what Jasper had to say about his special achievement:
“Last Thursday was a special day. I was honoured to be nominated to receive personal recognition for my charitable work. It was a privilege to go to Bristol University and be amongst many others receiving awards that day, which all reflect what each person had achieved. Just like them, I had my close family with me to share in the day, and I felt proud and so did they.
Congratulations were the order of the day, all round. Seeing all those young students, at the culmination of their hard work and toil I thought about their journeys. A degree usually takes three years, a steep learning curve, lots of changes to get used to, lots to take in, and of course, students don’t get through it on their own. They have their lecturers, their mentors, their tutors, they have their family and friends. They gain new acquaintances, rise to new challenges, get tested to their limits, have their ups and downs juggling stresses and pressures, work hard and keep going and their reward at the end, last Thursday, is a celebration of all of that proving a success. They didn’t do it all alone, they were the centre of a network of other people, but they were the main component, at the end of the day, it was down to them and the buck stopped with each of them.
In a way, my journey to arrive at my Honorary Degree has been similar. I wanted to do something, to achieve something, and to do so I have spent my last three years getting others to help me do it. It has been a learning curve in so many ways, not least in finding out that so many others want to do something, want to help, they just need the encouragement, and the inspiration to do so. I am grateful to and acknowledge that without that, without all the hundreds of supporters getting involved, without my family and friends behind me, without the community coming together, I would not be able to do this.
I have learned that many things are possible, even when they seem a long way off, or overly ambitious, if you keep going, keep asking, keep showing others what could be done, what can be done, what is being done. And success breeds success – I had the vision of what the project could become and now it is a reality I know this is something to build upon to achieve even more. With your continued support, together, we can make a difference. Thank you all.”