Young people sleep rough to raise thousands for charity

There were 13 young people and eight adults who slept outside
There were 13 young people and eight adults who slept outside

Young people experienced sleeping a night rough to understand what life is like as a homeless person.

The group, from the Roman Catholic Parish of St Edward the Confessor, Keymer, learned all about homelessness as they raised money for a Brighton-based charity Off The Fence.

At least £2,000 has been raised for the charity, which supports vulnerable people living on the streets.

Saoirse Murray, 14, who helped organise the event, says she learned a lot from the project.

She said: “It was an eye opening experience. I can’t imagine what it would be like sleeping rough every night.”

Participants were between the ages of 11 and 15.

Cash donated to the organisation will be poured back in to projects which target poverty across the county.

It ensures those less fortunate are presented with opportunities to improve their quality of life.

An adult volunteer, who did not want to be named due to her career, says it was excellent to see so much cash raised from the young people.

She said: “Off The Fence do a big sleep out every November to raise money for all they do.

“We thought we could do something more locally but on a smaller scale.

“It was different for the youngsters but we wanted to open their eyes to the issue.”

Heriot-Watt University Crisis, who monitor homelessness, say the number of people who are homeless in Britain will reach 575,000, up from 236,000 in 2016, if something isn’t done by the government.

The adult volunteer added: “I think the issue of homelessness is on the rise.

“We had sessions to learn about homelessness so the project was educational too.

“On the night of the event we had cardboard boxes and sleeping bags for people to stay.

“Some say the experience was scary which brought an understanding that anyone can do anything to the homeless.

“There were others who were unable to sleep outside but still got involved by providing soup to those sleeping in the outdoors which was great.”

Donations can be made to support this project at:

virginmoneygiving.com/team/StEdwardsYCC