Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson and Wiltshire Police Volunteer Cadets took part in a sleep out challenge in early December to raise awareness and money for those who spent last winter sleeping outdoors and without a place to call home.
Thirty two cadets aged 14 to 17 from the Swindon North, Swindon South and Trowbridge units took part in a sleep out on Friday 4 December 2015 at Police Headquarters, Devizes.
The cadets and Mr Macpherson presented a cheque on Thursday 24 March for £3841 to local charity Threshold Housing Link , an independent charity which provides emergency, short, medium and long term accommodation to single homeless people in Swindon.
Mr Macpherson said: “I was pleased that the cadets wanted to join me on a sleep out to raise money and awareness for Threshold and I am delighted at the amount of money that has been raised for the charity.
“The sleep out was a good opportunity for the cadets to experience what it is like to be homeless, but unlike many homeless young people this was something we only had to experience once before heading home to the warm.
“Opportunities like this are a great learning experience for our cadets. It helps them to understand others in our society and the challenges they may face”
Staff from Threshold spoke to the cadets about the difference the money will make to those who are homeless in Swindon. This includes supporting a project for young homeless and care leavers, who at age 16 to 21, are not much older than many of the cadets
Threshold Events and Fundraising Co-ordinator, Nikka Pomponi said: “We are amazed by the generosity and commitment to the sleep out shown by the police cadets.
“It’s inspiring to see so many young people getting involved and showing that they care about Swindon’s local homeless people.
“We would like to thank all that participated and extend a special thank you to Sergeant McGlynn and the Police Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson, for organising the event”
Wiltshire Police Youth lead, Sergeant Steve McGlynn said: “I am very proud of the cadets for completing this challenge. It wasn’t an enjoyable experience. It was cold and not many of them got much sleep.”
“It was important for us to do something for others and doing the sleep out has improved their awareness and knowledge about homelessness.
“It has taught them not to judge people because of the situation they find themselves in, a valuable skill to have both as a young person and an adult.”