HEARING of the hardships homeless people face on a daily basis is what is on the cards for fundraisers in Rustington next month.
Worthing Churches Homeless Projects will be holding its first ‘sleep-out’ night at Summerlea Community Primary School for adults keen to discover what life living rough is like.
Participants will be tasked with building their own shelters out of whatever they can find and braving the night – and whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at them.
Jo Maxted, Summerlea’s business manager, came up with the idea of holding the sleep-out at the primary, in Windsor Drive.
Jo, whose husband Paul works with the homeless charity, hopes that, if successful, it would become an annual one but confessed the night would have very few home comforts to it.
“Rough sleepers are often out in all weathers – cold, wet or whatever,” she said. “So to do it for one night, knowing that you’re going home to a hot bath or a something like that is a comfort homeless people don’t have,
“For a homeless person they might be able to go to a hostel but they might not. If they have to sleep on the street there’s very little security. It’s not nice.”
The sponsored sleepers will be roughing it for the night on the school’s playground, on February 28.
Access to hot food from 7.30pm and toilet facilities will be available throughout the night – a luxury that homeless people may not have in reality.
The event is a replica of the one which has been running at a school in Worthing for several years.
Abi Harleym, community fundraiser and volunteer co-ordinator said the night will be a perfect chance for people to learn more about homelessness.
She said: “It will hopefully provide an opportunity also for our staff to challenge the negative stereotypes, misunderstandings and stigmas attached to homelessness.
“We have found in previous years, from the one in Worthing, that many of the participants have taken away a new appreciation of the life they are accustomed to and empathy towards men and women who are not so fortunate to have a secure home.”
To join, call 01903 227829, email firstname.lastname@example.org, see www.wchp.org.uk or visit the store in High Street, Littlehampton.