9th Apr, 2020

Coventry students build world's biggest blanket fort to raise money for homeless charity

Felix Nobes 7th Jul, 2018

A GROUP of Coventry students set about building the world’s biggest blanket fort while raising money for a homeless charity.

The University of Warwick undergraduates – inspired by hit US TV show ‘Community’ – attempted to break the Guinness World Record with a fort composed of more than 200 blankets.

Once complete, it was 432 square metres – 100 square metres larger than the previous record holders.

The kind-hearted students aimed to raise nearly £10,000 in aid of Leamington and Warwickshire (LWS) Night Shelter located at the Old Priors Club on Clemens Street, Leamington Spa.

It was a party atmosphere as students used a green space on campus to build the record-breaking fort.

The day was complete with live music, fairground rides, a bar and food stands.

Nearly 250 volunteers helped by donating blankets and putting the structure together.

Emma Clifford, a project leader, said: “My friend and I came up with the idea after watching an episode of ‘Community.

“In the episode a college builds a blanket fort and has a blanket fort versus pillow fort battle.

“We were inspired and instantly searched how big the largest blanket fort was.

“Then some months later we heard the LWS night shelter was facing danger of shutting down.

“Homelessness in Leamington Spa (where I and many other students live) is a big problem that has been in the back of my mind for ages.

“The support LWS night shelter provides is vital, so we wanted to do something and the two ideas just perfectly collided.

“I rallied my friends together and we started organising.”

The Night Shelter – a community housing charity – was threatened with closure in 2016 but today continues to supports nearly 50 people a night.

The charity launched a £60,000 appeal to raise enough money for a move to a new premises as its current building is due to be demolished.

The service is now hoping to relocate to the former Old Italian Club in Packington Place off High Street, and Warwick District Council chiefs are supporting the move.

It is run entirely by dedicated volunteers.

The charity wrote on Facebook: “How great is this?! University of Warwick’s Guinness World Records attempt to build the World’s Largest Blanket Fort is complete.

“The guys at Warwick’s Blanket Fort have been working really hard at this project, which has raised thousands in funds for LWS and our new premises.

“Well done and a huge thank you to everyone involved.”

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