On Monday 19th November 2018, Alnwick Garden hosted local business leaders for the Northumberland CEO Sleepout.
We are extremely grateful to all the big-hearted business leaders who swapped their warm beds for a night under the stars in order to help those who have to experience the discomfort and cold of sleeping rough every night.
Trevor, Alnwick Gardens’ Head Gardener, joined the sleepers and said:
Having slept rough for a night in London way back in my youth I am aware how terrifying it was yet for some this is just the norm and we as a population have now come to accept that people do sleep rough.
I am taking part this year to raise awareness and a little cash in the hope that in this day and age we will endeavour to ensure that facilities and housing become available so that nobody has to sleep rough in the future.
There was a really good turn out on the night, and the Changing Lives staff who took part were able to explain more about our work with people experiencing homelessness. It also allowed our staff to reflect on the work we do everyday and the difficulties people face when sleeping rough.
Changing Lives Service Manager Helen, who took part in the event, said:
As I lay awake I thought of how frightening it must be to search for somewhere to bed down each night, to never know if you will be attacked through the night, or even wake up in the morning.
Most of all, even after 16 years of working in social care, I wondered how homelessness can even exist in 2018 Britain. I only hope the Homeless Reduction Act and the government strategy to end homelessness by 2027 have the resources needed to succeed. In the meantime, we will continue to support homeless people to reduce No First Night Out and No Second Night Out, and to combat cyclical homelessness for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.