Westminster Abbey Sleepout Challenge

Anna, an NYU student in London has been volunteering in the CUF office for the last few months, here is her story about why she wanted to take part in the Westminster Sleepout Challenge:

I’ve always considered myself a city person. I grew up in Shanghai, I’m spending the year in London, and next year I’ll be moving to New York. There’s a lot to love about cities – the vibrance and diversity, the way it feels like so much of the world is right outside your door.

But a harsher aspect of city life which most people overlook is the prevalence of homelessness. It’s a growing problem in every city I’ve been to, and yet I find that it’s rarely acknowledged. It’s hard to face the disparity between the opportunity and connection which most people associate with cities and the opposing experience that becomes the reality for far too many people. I know from experience that it’s much easier to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the problem and to convince yourself that there’s nothing meaningful that you can do. Most days, it’s easier to just look the other way. However, the truth is that each of us can do a lot if we simply choose to pay attention, which is why I’m so excited to participate in this year’s Advent Sleepout Challenge. My hope is that by raising money and raising awareness to support those who have been marginalised, I can not only make a difference in their lives, but remind those around me of the importance of listening to people who are too often ignored.

After the sleepout Anna writes:

Waking up after a very broken nights sleep to the sound of pouring rain, I was cold, achy and desperate for a hot shower. I can’t begin to imagine how people go through this night after night, with no where dry or comfortable to sit. We were safe and locked into the Abbey grounds but as I lay there trying to sleep I could hear the London busyness passing by outside where so many sleep on our streets in fear not knowing if they’re going to wake up in the morning

You can support the Westminster Team and help them to reach their £10,000 target here.

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