7th December, 2018
Hundreds of Mancunians slept out to raise awareness of youth homelessness. Three of our team from Capstone Foster Care joined them. On the 29th November, three of our team swapped their beds for sleeping bags to raise funds for the youth homeless charity Centrepoint. Sleep Out is Centrepoint’s flagship annual event, taking over the unheated Victoria Baths. Sleep Out doesn’t aim to replicate what it’s like to be homeless, but it does give you an insight into the challenges faced by homeless young people: the biting cold; the lack of control; and the struggle to carry on with the next day on minimal sleep. Everyone who took part had a fundraising challenge to reach over £350 each. Funds raised will support Centrepoint’s work in Greater Manchester. The charity began working in the region earlier this year, supporting 2,000 young people each year. Centrepoint provides practical support and advice for those at risk of homelessness and helps young people to turn their lives around by gaining essential life skills, tackling physical and mental health issues and moving into education or employment. The night started so well as the team arrived around 7.30 pm and were provided with a nice warm meal followed by entertainment for the night. Sharon, Jo and Sam found out more about Centrepoint and how they tackle youth homelessness and the effects it can have on the young people who have to cope with it daily. The team took part in workshops about the work Centrepoint undertake and even had a bedtime poem read to them from Louise Wallwein MBE. Louise was brought up in 13 different children homes and wrote her first play aged just 17. At 11.30 pm it was time for bed and the temperatures began to plummet. They had only taken a sleeping bag, minimal layers and a roll mat. Lights out happened at 12 pm and they felt utterly disorientated once the darkness swept over them. Sleep seemed to elude the whole room with people turning and squirming on the cold marble floors. There was a great sense of vulnerability however, the crucial difference was normality was only a few hours away which is a far cry from those sleeping rough on the streets of Manchester every day. By 6 am the majority of the room began to stir, and the Capstone team all awoke feeling achy, tired and grumpy but this is all part of the unique experience of Sleep Out! Every day, thousands of people have to get through long days of work or learning, having spent the night sleeping outside or in a dangerous place. The great news is our team from Capstone Foster Care managed to pass the target and raised £1,150.16 towards the fantastic work Centrepoint achieves. We're thrilled to also say that the fundraising total so far from the night is £65,937!