First Sleepout of 2018!
The Advent Sleepout Challenge has begun! The first sleepout happened last week in Snaith. Here’s what Rev. Eleanor Robertshaw had to share about their sleepout.
Anyone who has visited a major city recently cannot deny the fact that homelessness is increasing. In the last few months I have been shocked and saddened by what I have witnessed. Snaith is a small market town in the East Riding of Yorkshire and yet even here, there have been a number of homeless people knocking on the Vicarage door asking for help. We wanted to do something to help.
Sixteen of us took on the Advent Sleepout Challenge in Snaith Priory, a large and very cold medieval church, we were also joined by volunteers throughout the night who came to look after us!
Once we had all set up camp, we had the obligatory press photograph for the local paper, we shared some pizza and got to know each other. We teamed up with the local guides who put on some great activities for us.
When we sat down to introduce the idea of homelessness to the young people, we spoke about how homelessness can happen to anyone There was then the opportunity to go to our ‘Cardboard City’ and spend some time building shelters - one young person decided to sleep in hers! We put on lots of activities to show that church is not just for sitting quietly in on a Sunday, it is a space for the whole community to come together.
At 11:30pm I suggested it might be bedtime (you can tell I don’t have kids!). Eventually at gone 1:30am after watching Paddington the young people slowly began to fall asleep. This is when the reality really began to set in. Thankfully it was a mild night, but the floor was cold and uncomfortable, and we were in for a night of broken sleep. Thankfully this was all we had to worry about, Snaith Priory is dry and safe!
After what seemed like not very much sleep at all, we were jolted awake by phone call from the morning volunteers who had arrived to make us breakfast which were shared with our young people’s parents and carers who had come to take them home for some actual sleep!
The sleepout was an incredible experience for us all, we didn’t get the full homeless experience, but it made us appreciate our home comforts so much more. We’re very proud of how much money we raised and thankful to all who took part, volunteered and sponsored us and helped us raise awareness about this very important issue.
Are you inspired by Rev. Eleanor’s story? Donate to their challenge here. or maybe you’d like to take on a Sleepout Challenge?