Volunteers urged to sleep out so others don't have to

05 Nov 2013
by Neil Skinner

Volunteers are being urged to sleep rough for a single night in Nottingham to ensure that others don’t have to.

Framework is challenging people to abandon their usual comforts for a few hours and take part in its annual Big Sleep Out event.

Framework’s Big Sleep Out will be held on the evening of Thursday, November 28th at the new venue of Sneinton Market – a location secured with much appreciated support from Nottingham City Council.

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. Last year the event attracted more than 300 people and raised more than £30,000

Michael Leng, Framework’s Operations Director, explained: “Very positive steps have been taken in Nottingham to reduce the numbers of people sleeping rough. By working in partnership with the council, the police and others, our Street Outreach Team has been able to help dozens of people off the streets and towards brighter futures.

“Each year Framework works with more than 9,000 people – tackling not only the consequences of homelessness but also its root causes. By taking part in this event our supporters can do a huge amount to help us to prevent and tackle homelessness in their communities by sleeping out so others don’t have to.”

Participants at Framework’s Big Sleep Out will be kept entertained, safe and secure. For those of a more creative persuasion the popular Box Factor competition will also make a return, where the most original and decorative cardboard creations will be judged and prizes awarded.


Missed last year's event? Watch this to learn more

The event provides participants with a unique experience of sleeping outdoors without home comforts. In reality, however, the experience can never compare to the experience of sleeping rough for real.

Street Outreach Team Leader Sam Lloyd explained: “Rough sleeping is a lonely, dangerous and unsustainable way of life. It can lead to serious physical and mental ill health, violent abuse and even death. The people who risk their lives on the streets and in abandoned buildings do so because they have slipped through all the safety nets society has in place to support them. They can be lonely, isolated and exposed. With public support we do our very best not only to put a roof over their heads, but, more importantly, to address the reasons why they are in the situation they are in.”

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.

If you want to take part please click here.

Event History 

Framework’s Big Sleep Out can trace its history back to 1992, when former Macedon Chief Executive Christine Russell led a dedicated band of volunteer rough sleepers in Market Square. In later years the event moved to St Peter’s Church, in Nottingham City Centre. In 2009 it moved to the car park of Framework’s old head office in Beech Avenue, before it moving to the Capital FM Arena for the first time in 2010.

The sleep out, now firmly established as a mass participation community event, is now looking for a new home for 2013. 

Oldest participant?

*The oldest person known to sleep out was Notts pensioner John Rafferty, who braved the elements in 2006 at the grand age of 75. He said at the time: “I’ve always seen homeless people and wanted to help them, and this is the best way I know to do something that directly benefits them.” Our youngest participant, meanwhile, was just seven years old.

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