That is why, on the 26th February 2016, we will be trading the comfort of our own beds for the grounds of Pip ‘n’ Jay church and braving the elements! Last year’s Sleep Out was a huge success, with 33 amazing supporters taking part (including our very own CEO – read on to hear her story!) and an incredible £10,000 raised for Bristol’s most vulnerable women.
“Getting prepared for tonight… I was filling up a water bottle, and they don’t even have that you know? Yeah, getting prepared for tonight made us super aware of what homeless people go through.
Cos all I’m thinking about is like just do this tonight and then tomorrow morning I’ll have a bath and put on some warm clothes, and they don’t even have that and that’s really sad. We have Survival bags. Everything is clean and dry and ready, I’ve got a spare warm outfit in the car, just in case. We have Snacks from Sainsbury’s. We’re very aware that we feel safe, I don’t feel vulnerable or anything… we’re all doing it together and I’m very aware that it’s just tonight, cos I know that I couldn’t do this every night.”
“What really made it for me was the array of people who were there – all ages. There were some kids who looked about 15 years old and you are like, ‘wow, that is so impressive’. And there was a very nice vibe. There was a guy who spoke to us all who had been homeless for about a year, and he did a sort of raise of hands for who had been homeless before and had come back to support whichever charity had helped them. He said he was there for Second Step. And I was like, I’m definitely not moaning about this. And how people do that every night… it humbles you.”
“It was much harder than I had anticipated it would be – much harder. I couldn’t get comfortable and I just spent the whole night wishing for morning to come. But morning did come and what made it so good was all the other people there. You just looked around and thought: ‘how can I be feeling sorry for myself?’ All these other people are here and doing it too and nobody moaned, everyone was just making the best of it.
You feel vulnerable lying there on the ground with people walking around by you. And we had Richard and Paul looking after us! Even not cleaning your teeth – your mouth felt horrible in the morning, your hair was dishevelled, you feel tired and achy. And you just thought… that’s just one night. What is it like if that’s your life?
It was worthwhile though, because I think we might be approaching £800 in the money we’ve raised, just us personally! That made it worthwhile.”
"And you just thought… that’s just one night.- Gill (CEO)
What is it like if that’s your life?"