On Friday 9th November over 100 people decided to brave cold and wet weather to sleep outside Manchester Cathedral to raise money for the Booth Centre.
Around £15,000 has already been raised through the event with more donations to come, which will have a significant impact on the work the centre is able to do. Amanda Croome, manager of the Booth Centre said "This is a particularly challenging time of year for people who find themselves homeless, and as the nights get colder and wetter it's vitally important that we're able to help people get off the streets and into suitable accommodation. This boost to our funds will make a huge difference to our work."
Although the event gave participants a glimpse of some of the hardships homeless people have to face each night, organisers were committed to showing some of the positive changes the work of the Booth Centre can have on the lives of local homeless people. "One of the activities the centre runs is a weekly singing workshop in conjunction with Streetwise Opera and Opera North. We staged a mini opera during the sleepout involving some of the people who use the centre regularly, and it was great to see such a positive reaction to their performance."
Among those taking part in the event was Helen Varley, who works for CBBC in Salford Quays. "It was an amazing experience but also a harsh insight into the life some people have to lead. I felt the winter chill in my bones, my sleeping bag was soggy, and the hard ground and noise made sleep pretty impossible - I think I got 30 minutes kip all night! I don't think anyone who was part of the sleepout will ever take a warm bed for granted again and I'm proud and pleased that we have all come together for such a great cause."
Thank you to everyone who took part and made this such a successful event. We'll update you with a final total when we've finished collecting all the sponsorship raised!
On Friday 25th November 35 people decided to brave the cold weather and sleep outside Manchester Cathedral to raise money for the Booth Centre.
The event raised over £5,000, which will make an immediate difference to the work the centre can do. Amanda Croome, manager of the Booth Centre said "The number of homeless people in Manchester has increased recently and the Booth Centre is doing everything it can to ensure that as few people as possible end up rough sleeping, and those that do are able to get off the streets as quickly as possible. This boost to our funds will make a real difference to our work."
Although the event only gave a glimpse of what life on the streets is like, we wanted to make sure that those participating understood the reality of sleeping rough. "We asked two people who have slept rough in the past to give everyone taking part a true picture of what it is really like to sleep out, how dangerous and demoralising it is and also to explain how they have rebuilt their lives with help from the Booth Centre."
Among those taking part in the event was Jill Southern, who works at St Thomas Primary School in Leigh. "It was a great experience. I did get a couple of hours sleep, but I'm lucky enough to be able to come home to a warm house and a cosy bed afterwards. The evening really made me appreciate what I've got."
A huge thank you to everyone that took part and made this event such a success! For photos of the event please see our facebook page.