80th might be a rough night

Toby to sleep on bench for home­less funds

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS - Jackie Grant

When Toby Low­ery wakes up on a park bench on Sun­day, it’ll be her birth­day.

She’ll un­zip her sleep­ing bag and walk across the road to her house and into her nice comfy bed for a few hours’ sleep af­ter a tough night.

The Dun­score granny doesn’t need to sleep rough the night be­fore her 80th – she’s do­ing it to raise money for a char­ity close to her heart.

And Toby’s not wor­ried about what the un­pre­dictable November weather might bring. The plucky pen­sioner said she can deal with the cold ... although cats are a dif­fer­ent story.

She said: “I’m not crazy or fool­hardy, but al­most 30 years ago I gave up my teach­ing job to teach in Ro­ma­nia. There I saw many peo­ple sleep­ing in the street and I was hor­ri­fied. To­day, the sit­u­a­tion is worse in this coun­try.

“On Remembrance Day I shall be 80. I’m not a party per­son but I’d like to mark the oc­ca­sion with a lit­tle style, so I’ve de­cided to sleep rough my­self.

“I’ve been very lucky in life and now I’d like to help some­one else, so hope­fully this will raise some­thing for the Mus­tard Tree, a home­less char­ity in my home town, Manch­ester.

“I’ll be hon­est, I’m ner­vous about sleep­ing away from my home even though it’s not very far.

“I can deal with the cold, but I’m very scared of cats and, when I see one, I em­bar­rass my­self by scream­ing and jump­ing up on ta­bles.

“How­ever, I’ve said I’ll do it now and I can’t back out.”

Hus­band John, 84, thinks his wife is mad, but her son, also called John, is proud of her for taking on the chal­lenge.

He said: “I told her I think it’s bril­liant, as long as she wakes up the next morn­ing. I’ve set up a Just­giv­ing page for do­na­tions, although some­body ac­tu­ally of­fered her £50 not to do it.”

Toby added: “I know it’s not go­ing to be com­fort­able sleep­ing on a bench near the vil­lage war me­mo­rial and I re­ally hope I don’t roll off in the mid­dle of the night.

“But this is im­por­tant to me and I want to raise aware­ness of home­less­ness and some money for char­ity, es­pe­cially on Ar­mistice Day as a lot of exser­vice per­son­nel are home­less th­ese days. It’s just for a night, some peo­ple aren’t as for­tu­nate.” To do­nate, visit https://www.just­giv­ing.com/ fundrais­ing/john-low­ery3?fb­clid=IwAR07es­v2_ zY9ZNHjUpV8L5W_Lf4Y_ Dr­m0YGLGUzZlU­doKNhUd­sKOx7x­cyHE

Sleep­over with a dif­fer­ence Toby Low­ery will be on a park bench

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