Sleep out to help the homeless

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Church of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas opposite the Liver Building. Pic © JMU Journalism

Church of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas opposite the Liver Building. Pic © JMU Journalism

A homeless charity is holding a sponsored sleep out this Friday to help raise awareness about rough sleeping in Liverpool.

Over a hundred people will be sleeping outside at ‘St Nick’s’ churchyard in a bid to raise money for The Whitechapel Centre which helps homeless people get back on their feet.

The event will take place in a safe area at the Church of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas, with access to toilets and refreshments. There will also be entertainment and competitions for people to take part in including ‘best onesie’.

Fundraising manager Ruth McCaughley said that although the event will be nothing like sleeping rough, there is a ‘serious message’ behind it.

She told JMU Journalism: ”It’s the first one that we have done so we didn’t really know what to expect. We then had over 100 people sign up so we’re really pleased about that.

“We are keeping an eye on the weather forecast and hope that it stays warm and dry. Everything else is going to plan, the only thing we are not in control of is the weather.”

The sleep out follows an increase in the number people using the Whitechapel’s services over the last three years, as well as a surge in Merseyside families seeking food vouchers.

Liverpool Student Union Vice President Dan Cole is among those taking part and said as soon as he heard about the event he couldn’t wait to get involved.

He told JMU Journalism: “I’ve always been a keen volunteer and supporter of charities and initiatives such as mental health and wellbeing. I’ve chosen The Whitechapel Centre because they do an amazing job in supporting homeless people in Liverpool.

“The weather the last few days and hurricane Gonzalo being about is a bit scary but I’ll wrap up as warm as I can. It’s all for a good cause.”

The sleep out takes place this Friday and organisers have said all participants must be aged 18 or over. The entry fee is £10 per person.

Additional reporting Amy Nicholson

About Megan Hill, JMU Journalism