Big sleep out – one night is enough!
So, on Friday 18th November myself, Howe Timms and Scott Stevenson showed our support for our Charity of the Year, “Off the Fence”, by joining them in the ‘Big Sleep Out’. This event has been enormously successful previously in not only raising money, but also raising awareness of the plight that rough sleepers face in Brighton and Hove.
The evening started off with a party atmosphere with a DJ, shelter building, some talks from the participants about their reasons from being there and visits from local dignitaries Mayor Lizzie Deane and Peter Kyle MP.
After a while, we settled down to our cardboard beds and a story read by the lovely Roy Stannard and hoped for a good nights sleep. It didn’t work out like that for several reasons….
Firstly, in a world of streaming and on demand entertainment there is nothing to distract you from the reality you are in. For me and the guys, it was probably thinking about the work week that just ended and the fun things we were doing the rest of the weekend, for people who aren’t doing this out of choice, the thoughts are probably much more worrying.
Secondly, was being on alert. Despite being in a cordoned off area with security to look after us, it was really scary. There was noise constantly and one couple that walked past verbally abused us.
Finally, the cold. It was unseasonably warmer and dry, I’d estimate that it was probably better conditions than 3/4 of the year. Despite that, between 2am and 6am it got damp and felt very cold.
We had it easy comparatively, we got a hot meal, teas and coffees on tap and access to a proper toilet all through the night and it was still horrible.
Speaking to Scott in the morning, still trying to warm up and whilst waiting for a little breakfast, he had noticed a rough sleeper that joined us. The homeless person was offered a bacon sandwich and a hot drink but he was more concerned with getting some bread that he had heated up, anxious that the little he had didn’t go to waste.
The whole thing gave us all a massive appreciation for how hard it is, the great work that Sarah Melvin, Roy Stannard and the rest of the Off the Fence team do, and the support they need to keep doing it!
I for one will be back next year to show my support.
Thanks to all that have supported us so far, Custom Credit have already raised over £1450 for Off the Fence with this event.
The Just Giving pages are still open until 31st December 2022 so please give whatever you can to help.