Freezing temperatures are no deterrant for St Albans Sleep Out participants
PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:48 30 November 2017
With temperatures expected to plummet below zero, plucky charity supporters will be braving the cold and preparing for a chilly night sleeping under the stars on Friday.
The annual St Albans Sleepout is being held at Oaklands College on Friday night in aid of Herts Young Homeless, Centre 33, Emmaus and Open Door, and between 100 and 150 people are expected to attend.
The event has moved from its usual location at St Albans Cathedral while building work is underway.
Volunteers will camp out with their sleeping bags from 7pm to 9am in support of the charity, which helps more than 2,000 vulnerable people across the county who are homeless or at risk from becoming so. The charity also supports those over 18 years old with complex needs such as mental, substance misuse and physical disabilities.
Head of fundraising for Herts Young Homeless Kathryn Salmon said: “The St Albans Sleepout provides the opportunity for people to experience what it may be like to have to sleep rough, if only for one night. It raises invaluable awareness and essential funds, at a time when the charity is seeing an increasing number of young people using their services. It is with thanks to Oaklands College that we are able to hold Sleepout this year.”
The business networking company Platinum Point has already raised £1,500, with eight members from the group taking part.
Frances Pardell, one of the Platinum Point participants, said: “I can’t honestly say I’m exactly looking forward to sleeping out on a cold midwinter night, but it’s nothing compared to what homeless people actually have to go through, and not just for one night.”
She added: “I’ll have a warm sleeping bag, tons of warm clothing, hot drinks throughout the night and I’ll be with a great bunch of people from Platinum Point who are not only supportive, but fun too. Our family and friends have been so supportive of our efforts and it’s also helped raise the profile of the charity at a very difficult time of year for many.”
The evening will include a presentation from a young person sharing his experience of being homeless, and a talk by Emmaus founder Terry Waite.
To donate to Herts Young Homeless, visit their website at www.hyh.org.uk