The Sleep Out took place on the 24th February and was a great success! In total, there were around 165 participants from various different homelessness organisations across the city including The Julian Trust, The Big Issue and One25. We were really proud of our group of 35 brave participants!
The night was not too cold, but unfortunately we did have some rain at the start of the evening which meant that most of us had wet sleeping bags. This was even more of an eye opener to the reality of what it’s like to be on the streets. Although the sleep out will never be a complete homelessness experience, it gives a sense of how tough it is to have nowhere to call home. The police helicopter flying above us, streetlights shining into our eyes and the threat of more rain all made sleeping out a pretty exhausting experience. We were all very grateful to wake up in the morning and go home to a shower and some dry clothes.
This year was really exciting for us as many other groups and individuals took on challenges to support the Sleep Out. A group of ten year olds held a sleep out in their garden playhouse and raised over £800! LIFE Course student Matt joined us for the Sleep Out and shared his amazing story of overcoming homelessness and addiction. He really wanted to Sleep Out to give back to the services that helped him through dark times and was thrilled to raise over £200! We attended a pyjama night held by Pendennis Good News Church youth group and CCM staff even came into work in their pyjamas for the day to raise awareness. It was fantastic to have so much support for the event this year!
Our participants have already collectively raised around £19,997 (not including gift aid) and more is still coming in! This is an incredible amount and we are very grateful to each and every one of our participants for this fabulous fundraising. The number of people sleeping rough in Bristol has been recorded at 74 during this year’s annual count. This is a threefold increase from recent years and does not include those living in temporary accommodation. Thanks to this fundraising, we are able to welcome more people in from the streets and to help them break free from homelessness.