On Friday 5th of September, a group of around 40 willing participants swapped their beds for sleeping bags and joined us at the Cathedral for the Archer Project Sleep Out.
The aim being to raise awareness about homelessness and the impact sleeping rough can have. The Sleep Out was a huge success and we were overwhelmed by the support, motivation and enthusiasm of everyone who took part – thank you so much.
Luckily for us the weather was extremely mild and spirits were high. The evening started with a talk about the project and the work we do to support homeless and vulnerable adults to make positive steps up and away from homelessness.
Then the group received a tour so they could gain more of an insight into the day to day running of the project. The group seemed to really enjoy the tour, and a few were quite surprised to see we had a fully equipped medical room and x-ray machine!
We then had some soup and a bread roll before finding a spot on the Cathedral forecourt. One of our clients, who is now in accommodation but had previously been homeless for a staggering six years offered to take two groups round the city centre to show us where some of our other clients sleep rough. It was extremely eye opening and showed a very different side of Sheffield.
When morning broke, we had breakfast, a photo and then most returned to their homes. It was a day of reflection as we considered what it must be like to live without the stability that comes with a home; without the guarantee of a bed, a place to cook, a place to wash, a place to live.
We did not attempt to recreate what it is like to be homeless- that would be frankly impossible. But we wanted to make people think about what it means to be homeless and to reflect on the way they felt the day after having had little sleep, and to imagine what it would be like to repeat this night after night, year after year.
The thousands of pounds raised by the Sleep Out will help us continue our vital work with some of Sheffield’s most vulnerable.
Darryl, one of our fundraisers has written a very insightful and interesting blog about his experience on the sleep out, feel free to have a read here: http://daza66.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/the-sleep-out.html
If you would like to write a blog about your experience, or would like to be involved in the next sleep out, please email email@example.com