Cold comfort at sleep out in aid of St Albans homeless

A group of people from St Peters Church St Albans sleeping out

A group of people from St Peters Church St Albans sleeping out - Credit: Archant

As temperatures dipped below zero last weekend, hundreds of people joined four Mayors and an MP at the annual St Albans Cathedral Sleep Out in support of the homeless.

St Albans Mayor, Cllr Geoff Harrison with the Mayoress, Moira Skelton, who were raising funds for Open Door, joined the Mayors of Luton, Berkhamsted and Hertford and the MP for South West Beds, Andrew Selous, at the Sleep Out on December 5.

The Mayor said: “All credit to everyone who slept out or supported the Abbey Sleep Out to raise funds for homelessness charities. It was great to see so many young people there.

“Many thanks go to the support team that looked after everyone throughout the night. It was very cold, but that didn’t deter the participants, old or young. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has given money for this great cause.”

Also taking part were Tricia Jennings, Donna Hyde, and Caroline Ellis from Park Street and Morwenna Ellis, Dee Hook, and Charlotte Perrott, none of whom previously knew each other, who were raising money for the local women’s refuge.

Caroline Ellis, President of the St Albans Priory (Breakfast) Rotary Club said: “While the temperature was below zero, we were wrapped warmly, in sleeping bags, cardboard and bubblewrap and lots of layers. Warm socks were especially appreciated.

“The atmosphere was jolly and fun – 470 people took part, most of them below the age of 18, so not much sleeping took place, but a lot of laughter could be heard until the early hours. At 6.30 in the morning however it was a bit different as loud hailers woke us up from slumber to see the frost around us and everyone was urged to “move along”. At least we had homes to go to, with hot baths and warm houses.”

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Organiser Brian Peyton said: “The Sleep Out is always well attended but this year`s event turned out to be a bumper one with 470 people sleeping out under the stars, half of whom were under 18 years. The youngsters created a very festive atmosphere and everyone was in good spirits”.

Last year’s Sleep Out raised over £41,000 and it is hoped that the figure will be even higher this year in support of 10 homeless charities including Open Door, Centre 33 and Emmaus in St Albans.

Money in support of the charities would still be welcome and details can be found at