Grab your woollies for the big Sleep Out
Getting ready to rough it at kirk for church charity
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. co.uk
For one night, this is a struggle – but there are people who face this every day