Local residents are being challenged to swap their bed for a sleeping bag for one night in November in an effort to raise money and awareness for Foundation of Light and youth homelessness charity Centrepoint.
Sleeping in the Stadium of Light, participants will get an idea of the challenges homeless young people face; the cold, the damp, the noise and the uncomfortable surroundings while in a controlled and safe environment.
Before bedding down for the night there will be activities, entertainment and workshops taking place. Participants will also receive a hot meal in the evening and breakfast in the morning after the event.
Proceeds raised from the event will help both charities to support local young people in turning their lives around by gaining essential life skills, tackling physical and mental health issues and helping them to move into education or employment.
Foundation of Light and Centrepoint hope to raise over £20,000 and better last year’s event that saw TV personality, Vicky Pattison, brave the cold alongside 80 other participants.
“Sleep Out is a great event to be part of and raises much needed funds to help us challenge poverty and homelessness. We get new people coming every year and everyone has their own story on why they are taking part. We are looking forward to this year’s event which we hope will be the most successful yet.”
Jemma Dowson, Events Manager
Sunderland AFC legend Kevin Ball, who attended last year’s event, told the Sunderland Echo: “There is going to be a lot of people who are homeless at the moment and they do need our support.
“The only way sometimes to do that is to go out and raise money and know that when the money goes to Centrepoint it is going to be used in the right way to support these people.”
Jess Sullivan, Regional Fundraising Officer for Centrepoint, said: “It would be impossible for us to replicate the reality of homelessness but we hope that those taking part in Sleep Out will broaden their understanding of the challenges involved such as sleeping on the floor, facing the cold and getting through the next day with very little sleep.
“While the event only offers a glimpse in to the struggles of being homeless, the money raised will have a huge impact on those in the North East who unfortunately find homelessness as their reality. It will help to support vulnerable young people to gain the skills and confidence they need to move on in to education, work and a home.”
To register for Sleep Out 2018, visit: https://centrepoint.org.uk/get-involved/events-calendar/sleep-out-sunderland/