Sleeping rough to help the homeless

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Participants decorate there shelters for annual Sleep Out. Pic @ The Whitechapel Centre

A “sleep-out” will take place to raise money for the city’s homeless this Friday, in the fourth annual event run by the Whitechapel Centre charity.

The grounds of St James’ Church in Upper Parliament Street, Toxteth, will see hundreds of people sleeping rough for the night to increase awareness of homelessness and raise funds for rough sleepers.

The event has a serious message about the plight of being homeless, but organisers also want the public to have a fun and memorable night.

Participants will be giving up their home comforts in return for beds made out of wood, plastic and tape, while earning cash through sponsorship for those who sleep outdoors every evening.

The Whitechapel Centre has ensured conditions will be safe, with stewards on duty, plus access to toilets and refreshments.

Fun activities will be held during the night and there will be entertainment, with prizes on offer for the best onesie, shelter, individual and team fundraiser.

YouTube (2013): JMU Journalism

All participants must be aged 18 or over and have registered with the centre in advance, with theem being encouraged to try raise at least £150. There is a £10 entry fee per person, which is not refundable.

Tracey Knott, a cognitive behavioural therapist, told JMU Journalism: “I am doing the sleep-out on Friday and I am really looking forward to it.  As a team we have raised £1,300 and believe it is going to a valuable cause. The ultimate aim is to raise awareness on homelessness.”

In January 2017, local authorities estimated that there were around 40 people thought to be regularly sleeping rough on the streets of Merseyside – a record high for the region.

The Whitechapel Centre is open all year round, providing warm showers, hot breakfasts and laundry facilities to those in need.

About James Farrington, JMU Journalism