St Albans sleepout raises money for homelessness charities

PUBLISHED: 09:44 28 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:44 28 January 2019

The St Albans sleepout was held at Oaklands College to raise money for homelessness charities. Picture: Oaklands College

The St Albans sleepout was held at Oaklands College to raise money for homelessness charities. Picture: Oaklands College

Archant

More than 120 people attended the sleepout, along with St Albans mayor Cllr Rosemary Farmer, to raise money for Herts Young Homeless (HYH), Emmaus, Open Door, Centre 33 and The Living Room.

The St Albans sleepout was held at Oaklands College to raise money for homelessness charities. Picture: Oaklands CollegeThe St Albans sleepout was held at Oaklands College to raise money for homelessness charities. Picture: Oaklands College

Before heading out into the night, sleepers listened to a talk from HYH peer educator Ricky, who spoke about his own experiences of homelessness.

Lucy Davies, who took part for the first time, said: “The thought that these people could be you or me walking past a homeless person.

“That person walking by might be kind but equally that person might be looking down on me and consider me to be in their way. They might choose to kick me or to verbally abuse me.

“I felt lonely. I thought about my family. Not in a jealous way – that is not envious that they were at home in their warm and comfy beds – but in a way that made me imagine living without them,”

Sleepout committee members Kathryn Salmon, from HYH, said: “Sleeping out for one night provides an insight into the challenges homeless people face every day - the cold ground, the lack of sleep.

“It helps us raise awareness and essential funds, at a time when all the charities involved are seeing an increasing number of people using their services.”

Emmaus, Open Door, Herts Young Homeless, The Living Room and Centre 33 thanked everyone who participated in the sleepout, including the sleepers, their donors and supporters, the helpers on the night and Oaklands College

Oaklands College director of student experience Sean Scully said: “We were delighted to be able to host the St Albans Sleepout for a second year and to help support a fantastic local initiative to raise awareness of homelessness in Hertfordshire.”

The final fundraising total is expected in a few weeks.

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