Volunteers urged to sleep out so others don’t have to
People are being urged to sleep rough for a single night next month to ensure that others don’t have to.
Homelessness charity Framework is challenging people to give up their warm beds for a single night and take part in its annual Big Sleep Out, which this year hopes to raise more than £30,000.
The event will once again take place in Bolero Square, Nottingham, outside the Capital FM Arena, on the night of Thursday, November 15 and is open to groups and individuals of all ages.
Participants, including Capital FM breakfast hosts Dino & Pete, will sleep in cardboard boxes to raise money to tackle and prevent homelessness. Every pound raised will help vulnerable people to change their futures and live independent and fulfilled lives.
Peter Radage, Framework’s Service Director for Homelessness and Housing, said: “Improved funding from central and local government has allowed us to expand the scope and efficiency of our work with rough sleepers in the last year, but we still face a huge challenge to effectively help people who are homeless and to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. By our supporters sleeping rough for just one night they can do a huge amount to help people who are most in need.”
Framework’s volunteer rough sleepers will be thoroughly entertained on the night by a range of performance artists and will also have the opportunity to take part in a fun-packed Box Factor competition, where the most original and decorative cardboard creations will be judged. They will also enjoy the benefit of hot food and drink and the protection of security guards.
But what is it really like to sleep rough?
Jason Marriot, leader of Framework’s street outreach team, engages directly with people on the streets. He explained: “Rough sleeping is dangerous and potentially deadly. People who sleep rough are at risk of serious ill-health, violent attack, drug and alcohol addiction, and even death.
“But the solution to rough sleeping and homelessness goes far beyond simply providing a roof over people’s heads: it is about giving those affected the opportunity to confront, overcome and prevent the problems that lead them into crisis and where possible avoid them ever having to rough sleep in the first place.”
Framework’s Big Sleep Out, the biggest single fundraising event in the charity’s annual calendar, is held in partnership with Capital FM and the Capital FM Arena and is supported by a number of local businesses, including Chino Latino, who will be providing breakfast.
All participants, who are requested to raise a minimum of £50 in sponsorship money, will be given a cardboard box on arrival and challenged to build a warm shelter. They will also receive some plastic sheeting for waterproofing if necessary. They are, however, urged to wrap up warm and bring a hat.
The event, which begins at 8pm and closes at 7am, is open to all ages, but under18s must be accompanied by an adult. Groups of up to five under 18s must be accompanied by one adult.