The Hope4 sponsored sleep out went ahead on Friday 24 February 2017, and turned out to be a resounding – albeit cold and damp – success!

The team raised near £2,000 including gift aid from a mix of donations and sponsorship. Thank you so much to everyone who has already donated and those who continue to contribute!

Below is our Client Services Manager Rob Fisher’s account of the evening in which he emphasises just why it is so important that efforts are made to continue to raise awareness of charities such as Hope4.

“Arriving at the centre, at about 7pm, we were greeted by the Hope4 team who gave us some insight into the issues faced by the homeless and badly-housed in the area. We were joined by a man whose circumstances have forced him to use the Hope4 winter shelters this year. Listening to his story, it soon became apparent that even those from well-established backgrounds can find themselves in need of the support that Hope4 provides.

Bedding construction commenced in high spirits at 9.30pm, with us using pretty much anything we could lay our hands on to make as comfortable a nook as possible for the cold hours ahead.  

Laying down, most of us managed to get some sleep and I feel almost guilty to say that I think I got about four hours. It was at about 2am that I was woken by the sound of rainfall on the plastic sheeting which surrounded me, and this rain persisted throughout the night. With the cold infiltrating our sleeping bags, I think it’s fair to say that we were all very grateful that this wasn’t a night where the temperatures dropped below zero. It was during these quiet times of the night that we felt the real gravity of the situation.

We were fortunate enough to be experiencing this all together, not having to deal with miserable conditions on top of the isolation faced by those routinely sleeping rough. Everyone was up before 6am and, immediately, we headed into the centre to dry off, warm up and have a cup of tea. None of us could imagine having to face this night after night, without even the prospect of a hot shower or warm meal."

Although many are under the misguided notion that poor life choices lead to homelessness, the truth is that these people are just like you and me. The money raised through Abbey Tax 20 will certainly give Hope4 and the other charities the chance to make a real difference.  

Why should you donate to Hope4? 

Because no one should have to live like that! Donate here and to learn more about Hope4’s work please visit their website.