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With just two days to go, around 150 fundraising volunteers are gathering sleeping bags, cardboard, woolly hats, thick socks, gloves and thermal underwear to sleep out this Saturday night (15 October) to raise funds so that other people don’t have to.

They are preparing to take part in Framework’s Big Sleep Out to raise £60,000 to support the work of the charity in tackling homelessness and rough sleeping – helping people living on the streets and working to get them into accommodation.

After last year’s success we are delighted that the event is returning to Nottingham Racecourse for the second time and it is presented with thanks for the generous support of corporate sponsors including Ottr, Tesco, Vegetology and the Victoria Centre.

This long-established homelessness fundraising event, which has been taking place almost every year and at many different locations across Nottingham since the 1990s, is once more attracting people of all ages from across Nottinghamshire.  Participants include 36 scouts from the Central Notts District Scouts as well as existing Framework supporters and many people taking part for the first time.

And it’s still not too late to take part by going to www.frameworkha.org/sleepout . People can sign up to attend at Nottingham Racecourse or remotely in their back garden and watch the event being livestreamed on social media.

Festival vibe

We will, once again, be giving the event a festival vibe so as well as having fun building their shelters, people can enjoy live entertainment – including top tribute act Queen II, the best street food Nottingham has to offer as well as outdoor cinema, children’s entertainment and so much more!

With such an exciting programme there are also tickets available for people who want to support the event but are unable to sleep out: they are welcome to visit the Racecourse for the evening and still support the cause. Just purchase your tickets at www.frameworkha.org/sleepout.

Why take part?

Among those taking part for the first time is 26 year old Jack Newton from Nottinghamshire who works on the front line for Framework and explained why he felt it was so important to be involved:

“Everyone deserves somewhere to call home – somewhere to be safe. Especially at the moment homelessness can happen to any of us: people are only a few missed payments away from homelessness. Financial circumstances shouldn’t determine whether you have somewhere to call home, but unfortunately it does.

“I’m a little anxious about taking part due to the drop in temperature, but I remind myself that rough sleepers do this every night and one night is nothing in comparison to what rough sleepers have to do. That’s why I feel obligated to do this in support of peoples’ futures.

“This will be my first time doing the Sleep Out. I’ve wanted to do it for a while but between shifts and Covid I’ve been unable to. I plan on doing the sleep out every year now.

“I’ve been with Framework for nearly six years and the work we do in supporting individuals not only to find accommodation but to maintain it is vital and essential to rough sleepers.

“I’m proud to work for Framework and to be part of the amazing Housing First team which is doing so much to provide former rough sleepers with accommodation and support.”

 

Also taking part is University of Nottingham sociology student Amber Pattinson who is sleeping out with her fellow committee members from the University Sociology Society:

 

“I think it is important to take part so that we can gain a small insight into what it is to be homeless and the negative experiences that rough sleepers have on a daily basis. As a social work student I am frequently in contact with people who are homeless but have never experienced homelessness myself so it is useful for me to gain this insight. It’s also important to take part so that we can raise money for the Framework charity so they can help others.

“I have been on placement at Framework and have seen that the work they do is designed to help and guide homeless people by giving them accommodation, helping them access services and being someone that they can talk to.

“I am excited to take part as I have never done something like this before but I am also anxious about being cold and making a shelter, however I am looking forward to doing the Sleep Out with my uni society and raising money for such an influential charity.”

 

 

 

Supporting a good cause

Framework’s Event Fundraiser Natalie Dickson who is organising the event says:

“The Big Sleep Out appeals to people of all ages who want to do something worthwhile for a good cause – in this case supporting our work tackling homelessness and helping to get people off the streets. It attracts individuals, groups of friends, families, community groups and groups representing local businesses.

“There is always a great atmosphere at the venue but we know people may find it more convenient to enjoy the event in different ways, and technology now makes it possible for people to take part remotely: for the first time we are using live streaming via social media to bring the excitement of the event in Nottingham to people’s back gardens, to campsites, or wherever people would like to take part.

“However the purpose remains the same – to help people in need and, as we say, to sleep out so others don’t have to.”

Now more than ever

We need the public’s help now more than ever to support the increasing number of people who will experience the trauma of rough sleeping this winter, many of them for the first time.

In the 12 months to March 2022, Framework’s Street Outreach Team found 876 separate individuals rough sleeping in Nottingham.  In the four months to the start of August the team found a further 364 homeless people sleeping rough – 42% of last year’s total in only four months.

The Big Sleep Out is our flagship fundraising event of the year.  We are not aiming to replicate the experience that homeless people endure on the streets which can be dangerous and often life-threatening.  However at three in the morning, when people are cold to the bone, they may have greater sympathy for people who are sleeping outside every night.

Sam Lanes, who runs Framework’s Street Outreach Services, has explained the importance of participation in the Big Sleep Out:

“The Big Sleep Out doesn’t replicate the circumstances of a rough sleeper but gives an insight into what rough sleepers experience and raises so much awareness and money to help those individuals.”