Fire cadets sleep out to raise awareness of homelessness

By Tyler Ody - 27 November 2019


A group of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service fire cadets will be sleeping out next week to raise awareness of homelessness.

The cadets, based at Swindon fire station in Drove Road, will spend 12 hours between 7pm on Friday 6 December and 7am on Saturday 7 December in the drill yard. 


Accompanied by their instructors, the cadets will be challenged to find a spot that protects them from the elements as much as possible and keeps them safe.


The ‘Big SleepOut’ is the cadets’ chosen social action project, and they will be fundraising for Threshold Housing Link (THL) through sponsorship.


Youth intervention coordinator Nicky Parker explained: “Winter is the most challenging time for those sleeping rough on our streets. Threshold is Swindon's longest established homeless charity and they work to prevent homelessness, alleviate the social exclusion of homelessness, and influence policy that affects homeless and socially excluded people.


“The cadets were asked to nominate a cause for their social action project, and they all felt very strongly that they wanted to do something around homelessness. While sleeping in the drill yard in no way represents what those living on the streets go through, it will give the cadets a greater understanding, allowing them to help spread the word to others. We also hope to raise a significant of money to help Threshold with their life-saving work this winter.”


The aim of Fire Cadets is to support the development of young people by providing a positive role model and giving them opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities.


Young people between the ages of 12 and 18 learn new personal and social skills, as well obtain a Level 2 BTEC qualification, the National Fire Cadet Level 1 Award and an AQA Award.


The programme is linked to the National Fire Cadet model, and is delivered by firefighters and fire and rescue service staff. Each course lasts for 38 weeks within the academic year, starting in September, and there are units in Swindon and Trowbridge. More information can be found at


To support the Swindon Fire Cadets in their Big SleepOut, you can donate online via

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