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

- BY CHRIS MACLEN­NAN Homelessness · Society · Social Issues · Scottish Government · Just Giving

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.

 ??  ?? BIG-HEARTED: A bus shelter will serve as Skye woman Sarah Jane Reid’s bed­room later this month as she em­barks on the fundrais­ing drive
BIG-HEARTED: A bus shelter will serve as Skye woman Sarah Jane Reid’s bed­room later this month as she em­barks on the fundrais­ing drive
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