The Threshold Housing Link annual sleepout event takes place on Friday 4 December at Immanuel United Reform Church, Upham Road, Swindon.
The aim is to raise vital funds to support homeless people around the town. Everyone can make a meaningful contribution by joining in, to show solidarity with the homeless, to raise funds to support Threshold’s work and to give you a small insight into what it feels like to sleep rough.
However, Threshold have said that they ‘are not attempting to recreate the experience of rough sleeping’ and will aim to keep volunteers safe and secure.
The sleepout event in 2013 raised a whopping £10,000 for the charity, which helped to fund their Street Outreach Team. Threshold hope to raise the same amount this year.
Threshold CEO Cher Sawyer-Smith MBE said: “‘This is a very important annual event for Threshold not only in terms of fundraising but also because it makes people more aware of our services and the great need for them for those local people who are unfortunate to become homeless. By sleeping out our supporters gain a better understanding of the reality faced by some homeless people each night in Swindon. Every pound raised goes to supporting our Street Outreach Team who work with homeless people on the streets helping them to get into accommodation, access health care or benefits.”
Councillor Fay Howard (Liden, Eldene & Park South Councillor) will be taking part in this event. She said: “Threshold do an amazing job throughout the year supporting our homeless population. It’s important to remember and do all we can to help those who find themselves in greater need. My church, Gateway Swindon is supporting Threshold this Christmas and I am joining the sleep out to help raise further funds and highlight the plight of Swindon’s homeless.
“I’ll be sleeping out alongside other volunteers including my husband Ian. For us it’ll be one night, a small price to pay to do all we can to support Threshold’s work throughout the year ”
Fay and Ian will be joined by seven employees from Swindon-based vehicle leasing company Arval. They have already raised more than £1,000 through sponsorship but are looking to increase that total over the coming days.
Tracy Cox, customer service advisor at Arval said: “We’re all getting really excited about taking part in the sleepout. Despite the weather turning so much colder in recent weeks we’re committed to raising awareness and money for this worthwhile cause. It’s certainly going to be a challenge for us, but homeless people do this every night and Christmas must be a really tough time for them.
To register your place, obtain a sponsorship pack or find out more please contact Threshold on 01793 524661 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re unable to take part, make a donation to Threshold. For every £1 given, we can receive £1.25 if you sign up to Gift Aid.