People of the north-east will spend a night sleeping rough this Autumn to experience some of the harsh realities faced by homeless people on a daily basis.
Aberdeen Cyrenians’ popular Sleepout event, which takes place on Friday October 7 in the car park of Asda Bridge of Dee, was officially launched in the store today.
The event encourages teams of four to grab a sleeping bag and spend the night sleeping rough to raise awareness of the reality and discomfort faced by a homeless person on a daily basis.
Scott Baxter, depute chief executive of Aberdeen Cyrenians, said: “Sleeping rough is an issue that some of our service users face on a daily basis.
“We could never fully replicate the homelessness experience and we recognise participants will not face all of the issues a rough sleeper would face. However this gives people the opportunity to have some insight into what it might be like to sleep in the elements, and a chance to acknowledge some of the things we all take for granted on a daily basis like warmth and access to toilets.”
Sleepout teams are encouraged to raise a minimum of £50 sponsorship per person to take part, with the funds supporting the services provided by the charity. This sponsorship comes at a particularly important time as an increasing number of people turn to Aberdeen Cyrenians for advice, information and practical support. The charity provides almost 200 food parcels to struggling households every single month as well as seeing more than 5,500 appointments at its busy drop in service last year, up from just 800 appointments two years previously.
“The Sleepout is an important event and this year it will coincide with World Homeless Day on October 10th” said Scott.
“We would encourage people from across the city and shire to take part so they can learn more about how homelessness affects people in the north-east.”
Asda Bridge of Dee manager Martin Green led a team from the store who participated in the 2015 Sleepout. He said: “Last year’s Sleepout was a great experience and our colleague team really got a lot out of taking part.
“We were pleased to team up with Aberdeen Cyrenians to host this year’s Sleepout and hope there is a good turn out for this year’s event. It’s a great opportunity to experience some of the issues homeless people face while raising money for a great cause.”
To register your team download our registration form here and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your registration fee. Contact us via email or on 01224 625732 for more details.