During Homelessness Awareness Week (5th – 11th October), Shawmind began inviting supporters to take part in the second annual Newark Sleep Out.
Launched by Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Housing Options team and sponsored by local estate agents Buttercross Estates, the Newark Sleep Out involves local people spending the night outside in the elements, to experience something of what it is like to be homeless.
For the first time the Newark Sleep Out, which is due to take place overnight on Friday 12th March 2021, will involve participant’s bedding down for the night in their own gardens, owing to predicted Covid19 restrictions.
To enable the event to go ahead, organisers will encourage sleepers to build their ‘bashes’ in their private, secure gardens and tune into a range of information about homelessness via Zoom on the night.
Daniel Otton, Managing Director at Buttercross Estates, the event sponsor, said: “As a letting agent, we see far too many cases of homelessness and I know it’s just the tip of the iceberg. We are sponsoring Newark Sleep Out 2021 to help raise funds for the local charities that support those affected by homelessness.
“The charities involved, now more than ever, need our support to continue the great work that they do and we would urge you get involved with the sleep out by signing up, or supporting those that have.
“I’m disappointed that we won’t be able to host a sleep out where people can come together for an evening of education and fundraising, but hopefully by taking this online and inviting people to join in from their own homes, we’ll be able to welcome many more people to take part.”
Analysis released in February 2020 by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government revealed a total of 4,266 people were deemed to be sleeping rough in England on a single ‘typical’ night in autumn 2019.
The report also revealed that the overall number of people sleeping rough in England has increased by 55% in the last five years.
The charities due to benefit from the funds raised on the night include the Winter Night Shelter, Newark Women’s Refuge, Newark Emmaus Trust and mental health and wellbeing charity, Shawmind.
Su Hallam, Charity Manager at Shawmind, said: “Mental health can be both a cause as well as a consequence of homelessness. And I’m hopeful that by putting themselves in the same position, participants will gain a greater understanding and empathy for the homeless community of Newark and Sherwood.”
Anyone interested in taking part in the nighttime event can register his or her place on the Newark and Sherwood District Council website here: https://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/housing/sleepout/
More information, including how to collect donations, which will be split equally between the charities involved, will be issued to those who register in the next few weeks.