Vol­un­teers brave a night on the streets to sup­port home­less

Macclesfield Express - - CHARITY ROUND-UP -

VOL­UN­TEERS have raised more than £1,600 by sleep­ing rough to raise money for the home­less.

The 12-strong group from Cheshire Street­wise CIC and Co-op­er­a­tive Funer­al­care Mac­cles­field, in­clud­ing four vol­un­teers who had been home­less them­selves, spent the night un­der Mac­cles­field train sta­tion’s un­der­pass.

The money raised, which has al­ready smashed the to­tal from last year’s event of just more than £1,000, will go to­wards a Christ­mas din­ner for those in need and emer­gency ac­com­mo­da­tion for home­less women in the town.

Mag­gie Fal­coner, who runs Cheshire Street­wise, a com­mu­nity in­ter­est com­pany that pro­vides hot meals for peo­ple who can­not af­ford to buy food, said: “We were lucky as the weather was mild. Peo­ple were so nice to us and many of them spoke of know­ing some­one who had been home­less.

“It was amaz­ing to hear peo­ple’s sto­ries and re­ally brought home how close to home­less­ness any of us can be. It can be a re­la­tion­ship breakdown, los­ing a job or mov­ing to a new town.”

She added: “We also want to help pro­vide more ac­com­mo­da­tion for home­less women.

“There tend to be more home­less men so there are hos­tels for them but not as many places for women.” Cheshire Street­wise pro­vides hot meals for around 40 peo­ple ev­ery Sun­day at Elim Church.

And Mag­gie es­ti­mates there are around 10 peo­ple cur­rently home­less in the town.

She said: “The real num­ber of home­less peo­ple is much higher than peo­ple think.

“Peo­ple sofa surf un­til they’ve worn out their wel­come or sleep in well­hid­den places so don’t get counted”.

Speak­ing about their own ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing home­less for the night, she said: “Peo­ple who hadn’t done it be­fore found it a real eye-opener. We just felt so lucky to go home to a bath and a bed. I didn’t sleep at all as you just feel so vul­ner­a­ble. I don’t think I’d last a week do­ing it for real”.

She added: “Cheshire is such a wealthy county and so not re­ally thought of as hav­ing a home­less is­sue but any­one who comes to see us can see that’s not true.”

The team were also given a van­load of food by Tesco Hi­bel Road branch’s com­mu­nity cham­pion Sheena King. To do­nate go to crowd­fund­ing.justgiv­ing.com/mark-bolton.

To vol­un­teer at Cheshire Street­wise con­tact Mag­gie on 0771 950 9061 or at mag­gie@cheshire­street­wise.co.uk.

●● The Quint Group ditched their suits to take on the Born Sur­vivor chal­lenge and raise more than £1,500 for char­ity

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