Friday, 4 October 2013

Sleeping out for the Birchwood Centre

You know when someone has a bright sparky fundraising idea, and you agree to join in because it feels like so long away...

A while ago, a group of us decided to raise money for a fantastic local charity, The Birchwood Centre, where young people who find themselves homeless can go for accommodation, support, mediation, personal development and training. Brilliant stuff. We wanted to support what they do financially and also raise awareness of homelessness issues.

Homelessness is often a hidden problem. Young people sofa surf, moving from place to place; it becomes a difficult cycle to break. So we decided to sleep rough in our village for the night not only because it seemed to fit the cause we were raising for, but also because we hoped it might be a visible way of highlighting this problem.

Clearly, our experience will not be comparable in any way with a young person who actually finds themselves on the street. We have warm sleeping bags. We have access to safe toilet facilities and a community police officer dropping by to make sure we're okay and crucially we're only do it for one night. When it's over, we'll go home, take a shower and get on with our lives.

So I commit to remembering young people who deal with this every day. I hope what we'll be doing will raise useful funds, and also help to raise awareness of this problem. If you fancy sponsoring us, please do drop by our Just Giving page. (and please wish good weather for us tonight...!)


  1. Sounds like a great idea to raise awareness. Just came back from Seattle and it's alarming how many rough sleepers are there - I'm interested to know what the local figures are?

  2. Hi there Claire, I'll do some research and find out - it would be good to know. I think it is hard to assess though, as a lot of homeless people aren't on the streets but bunking down in friends houses etc. It was a good night, weather wise, to sleep out. but had little appreciation before hand about how vulnerable you feel without anything over you. A few drunks out and about that night too. Seattle - exciting! was it holiday or work?