Worthing sleepout 2018
Last Saturday the 28nd January 24 people set up camp in the playground at Broadwater C of E School. For some this was the fourth or fifth time participating in the Worthing Churches Homeless Projects’ Sleepout while for others it was the first time. The charity is hoping this event will raise £10,000. The funds raised go towards helping the charity support over 1,100 people per year.
A lot of those attending took the time to carefully construct themselves a make shift den to keep warm. There was an array of cardboard box houses carefully put together with duct tape, some chose to just cover themselves with a tarpaulin to keep dry, while others decided to only use a sleeping bag with nothing but the night sky above them.
The evening started with soup so that participants could get to know each other over a shared meal. The event allows participants to experience a glimpse of rough sleeping and some of the conditions our clients face. The participants faced the harsh British weather and gained an understanding of how difficult and challenging sleeping outside can be even though it was in a safe and secured setting. Using the school playground meant they did not have to worry about the possibility of their possessions being stolen or being attacked, some of our clients have even had people urinate on them. There were hot drinks and toilet facilities accessible at all times, again this is not a luxury available to anyone sleeping rough.
14 year old Sleepout participant, Elliot “Once home I reflected on my experience and felt sad to think of the people who have no choice but to sleep out night after night – without the security I experienced, the home comforts (such as hot soup and chocolate in my stomach) the opportunity to take shelter with refreshments all night, the security offered by the locked playground gate, the bon ami of other participants and the certainty, next morning, of going home.”
The charity supports homeless and insecurely housed men and women and helps them from the beginning of their journey and their life on the street right through to living independently. For someone who has lost their home the support they need extends far beyond providing a roof over their head – in excess of 45% of the people the charity works with suffer with mental health issues while others might need to learn how to budget, adjust to a different style of living or how to write a CV to get back into employment.
If you would like to sponsor any of the participants that took part, donations may be made at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/wchpworthingsleepout/452093 or direct to Worthing Churches Homeless Projects at Worthing Town Hall, Chapel Road, Worthing, BN11 1HA.
Want to take part in a sponsored sleepout? It’s not too late! We have a Littlehampton Sleepout on the 24th of February.