Rough idea of how it feels to be home­less

An­nual fundrais­ing event aims to raise thou­sands

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Steve Bax steve.bax@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

ICK­EN­HAM will be wel­com­ing lo­cals and visi­tors to its an­nual Fes­tive Com­mu­nity Night next week.

The event on Fri­day De­cem­ber 11 kicks off at 6pm un­til 9pm in and around the Swake­leys Road, Ick­en­ham Vil­lage Hall, St Giles and URC Church Halls, Com­mu­nity Close and Glebe Av­enue. Shops will open late and restau­rants and pubs will be hold­ing spe­cial events and there will be Christ­mas lights around the vil­lage.

The Ick­en­ham Fes­tive Com­mu­nity Night is co-or­di­nated by the Ick­en­ham Fes­ti­val Team. A THOU­SAND peo­ple are to spend the night sleep­ing in card­board boxes in Uxbridge this week.

The mass par­tic­i­pa­tion event is at Hilling­don Ath­let­ics Sta­dium on Thurs­day (De­cem­ber 4) and will raise money for the home­less­ness char­ity Trin­ity.

Safe­store, one of the events main spon­sors, said: “As card­board boxes rep­re­sent sleep­ing rough in such an iconic way, we are pleased to be sup­port Trin­ity’s Big Sleep Out by pro­vid­ing boxes for the par­tic­i­pants, giv­ing them the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence what sleep­ing rough is like so that we all can be in­spired and en­cour­aged to chal­lenge our own per­spec­tives on home­less­ness.

“Af­ter all, it could be any of us spend­ing the night out there sleep­ing in the cold.”

Sta­tis­tics show that 44% of home­less­ness is be­cause of re­la­tion­ship break­down, a fur­ther 29% is be­cause short term te­nan­cies end.

The sleep­ers will be en­ter­tained with live mu­sic, com­edy and street po­ets be­fore they rough it in what­ever con­di­tions the win­ter night throws at them.

Lon­don

Mayor

and Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP, Boris John­son said: “Home­less­ness as an is­sue is get­ting more and more ur­gent. It takes love and com­mit­ment to help the home­less. It could in­deed be any one of us.”

The Big Sleep­Out event has been held an­nu­ally for the last six years. In the first year it raised £8,000 with 50 peo­ple brav­ing the cold – last year the amount raised was £90,000 with 430 peo­ple tak­ing part and more than twice as many this year.

The event is spon­sored by Bri­tish Air­ways, Safe­store, SE­GRO, CW Plant, Rocket Soft­ware and Lloyds Bank.

Large teams of par­tic­i­pants are also be­ing sent from PWC, Mars and Mon­delez.

See www.weare­trin­ity. org.uk for more on the event.

n TEAM WORK: The team from Coca-Cola at The Big Sleep­Out 2014, where £90,000 was raised. Right, Boris John­son sup­ports the #ItCouldBeMe photo cam­paign at the Big Sleep­Out launch event in May this year

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