The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Woman sleeps rough to give homeless bed
Charity: Action will fund shelter for the needy over Christmas
A Skye woman will make herself “homeless” later this month to raise awareness – and funds for Christmas.
Sarah Jane Reid, who hails from Kyleakin in the south of the island, will once again take to her local bus shelter to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness, which she feels is potentially overlooked on the island as the issue is not so obvious compared to areas of a larger population.
She first undertook the challenging event in
December 2015 and will once again go without food and technology as she seeks to help those less fortunate.
Miss Reid said she was inspired to undertake the initial challenge, which has now grown into an annual event, after feeling she did not do “enough to make a difference to those less fortunate”.
She added: “I am aware of how much I take the most basic daily provisions for granted but it breaks my heart to think of people being lonely and homeless.
“I just thought how fantastic it would be to give as many homeless as possible shelter, food and company at Christmas and so decided to do the sleepout in hope to raise £500 which would allow for approximately 20 people to shelter over Christmas.”
Miss Reid said she could not believe the generosity shown as her first sleep-out raised £4,000.
This year she will be joined by friends and her partner’s 12-yearold daughter, who is “desperate” to do her bit.
Funds generated will go towards the Social Bite charity.
She added: “It’s an enlightening experience.
“It’s all about bringing the awareness up to Skye.
“It is said we are all just four payslips from being homeless ourselves – so it really is something we should be aware is going on no matter if we see it on our local streets or not.”
Figures released by the Scottish Government in January revealed that local authorities received 18,486 applications for homelessness assistance between April 1 2018 and September 30 2018 – a rise of 2% on the same timeframe a year previous.
Miss Reid added: “It is so easy to get carried away in food, love and warmth and too easy to forget about others less fortunate.
“Hopefully by experiencing some of the daily struggles people face, I can do my bit to help reduce these alarming figures we have today.
“It’s an extraordinary experience.”
A dedicated JustGiving page has been set up to allow for members of the public to donate to Miss Reid’s efforts.