Grab your wool­lies for the big Sleep Out

Get­ting ready to rough it at kirk for church char­ity

Perthshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Ross Gar­diner

Dozens of peo­ple are pre­par­ing to sleep out­doors as part of a Perth char­ity’s drive to raise aware­ness about home­less­ness.

Now in it’s sec­ond year, Churches Ac­tion for the Home­less (CATH) is hold­ing it’s Sleep Out in the shadow of the Fair City’s his­toric St John’s Kirk from 7pm on Wed­nes­day next week.

Marks & Spencer, Asda, Sains­bury’s, Perth Col­lege UHI, Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil, the lo­cal SNP group SSE and CATH ser­vice users have all sub­mit­ted groups for an event mar­shalled by the 7 Scots Reg­i­ment. Dundee Guardian An­gels will pro­vide any first aid, if nec­es­sary.

CATH De­vel­op­ment worker and re­searcher Ron Hogg said: “Last year was our first sleep out and it was a huge suc­cess.

“Be­cause we’re re­stricted to the space around the kirk, we can only have around 70 peo­ple take part.

“Last year we had 63, and we’ll have about the same again this year.

“There’s a lot go­ing on. The 7 Scots Reg­i­ment are hold­ing a soup kitchen in­side the church, and we’ll have peo­ple busk­ing as well.

“It’s up­beat, but it’s a long, hard, cold night. Last year it rained and it was re­ally quite mis­er­able.

“We try and make it as re­al­is­tic and as undi­luted an ex­pe­ri­ence as we can.

“Part of the rea­son we hold it on a Wed­nes­day is so that peo­ple go back to work the next day, hun­gry, hav­ing not had a good sleep and hav­ing maybe not had time for a shower.

“For one night, this is a strug­gle – but there are peo­ple who face this ev­ery day.

“Last year, I didn’t think to ask our ser­vice users if they wanted to take part.

“After we’d held the event, they couldn’t be­lieve that peo­ple had gone out and done so much for them.

“Last year we raised £8238, which was miles above our £2500 tar­get. That’s our bread and but­ter fundrais­ing, and goes en­tirely to­wards the nuts and bolts of run­ning CATH.

“Be­cause there’s a Big Sleep Out in Ed­in­burgh this year, it’s been harder to se­cure sup­port – so we’re look­ing at a £2500 tar­get again.”

Ron went on to re­veal: “I’m tak­ing part my­self this year. Last year, I was the point of con­tact for the po­lice and fire so I had to stay awake and in the church.

He added:“I felt like I’d cheated a lit­tle bit, but it was warm and

Big Sleep Out par­tic­i­pants last year dry in­side so I was quite thank­ful!

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to it this year.”

You can reg­is­ter for the Fair City char­ity’s Sleep Out by send­ing an email to en­quiries@cath-org.

For one night, this is a strug­gle – but there are peo­ple who face this ev­ery day

Rough night

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