After the success of last year, the Big Sleep Out returns to raise funds for the vital work of the Winter Shelter programme for Folkestone’s homeless community.
Members of the public from aged eight to 85 years-old raised sponsorship last year to spend a night sleeping outside with only cardboard for comfort. The event saw most people leave in the early hours of the morning after high winds and a torrential downpour left the young and old soaked through to the skin and surrounded by their disintegrated cardboard homes.
Despite the weather, the big sleep out raised £8,500 for the Winter Shelter and this year organiser Louie Burns hopes to reach a target of £15,000.
"Three years ago someone actually died on the streets of Folkestone as they tried to keep warm so it’s not exaggerating to say that the work (of the Winter Shelter) is life saving. Every single year the funding they receive gets smaller and smaller."
The Big Sleep Out 2014
From December to February, local churches act as a shelter and provide nearly 1100 bed spaces, as well as hot meals, drinks, accommodation starter packs and other much needed assistance during the season’s harshest months.
One of the participant from last year, Sarah said: “The experience really opened my eyes to living outdoors and made me appreciate all the comforts we take for granted. I am in awe of anyone who survives life on the street. I found even one night a struggle and that was in the knowledge that I had a comfortable bed to go home to!”
The cost of registering for the Big Sleep Out is £10 but organisers are hoping that people can raise £100 in sponsorship.
The Big Sleep out is at St Mary's Primary Academy on Saturday 13 September and is open to all ages, but anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
For more information and to register click on the link below.