Our team is no stranger to sleeping rough with celebrities, and last week saw us doing this for the fifth time for a charity event.
Make room Mov-ember
Every year in early November a collection of well known faces get together to sleep rough, along with thousands of other people. Organised by Centrepoint, the event has grown into a national fundraiser to attract support and donations for homeless young people. This year we went along to the Old Truman Brewery in central London to take part in the Sleep Out, and get a better understanding of the cold and hardship youngsters with no homes face.
Event with the X Factor
The brewery was just one site where the fundraiser was taking place, and other locations included Canary Wharf’s West India Quay, in addition to Sunderland and Bradford. Each year many celebrities turn up and offer their support, and we got to rub shoulders with Radio 1 DJ Sara Cox, as well as presenters Lisa Maxwell and Richard Madeley, with a guest appearance by X Factor presenter Dermot O’Leary.
Step back in time
The appearance of well known faces helps to raise the profile of the event, and youth homelessness in general. The celebrities also used their skills to help provide some entertainment before 800 of us rolled out our sleeping bags at the brewery. Sara Cox performed a lively 80s set, which went down well with the audience, and we also got to see talented musicians like JP Cooper and New Zealand act Rival State perform.
Although entertainment forms a big part of the fundraiser, the core message of the event is never far away. Lisa Maxwell explained how she’d taken part in the Sleep Out since it started. It was initially a much smaller occasion, and involved a handful of celebrities sleeping rough in Covent Garden. We have a long history getting involved too, and our team remember these earlier events very well.
As well as highlighting how the Sleep Out has developed from a small London-based occasion to a national one that attracted £440,000 for homeless people last year, we also got to hear how Centrepoint turns around the lives of vulnerable youngsters who face homelessness. We heard Malcolm's story how the organisation stepped in to offer housing advice and training, which boosted his independence and gave him the skills he needed to avoid becoming homeless.
We’re honoured to have taken part in this year’s Sleep Out and helping the charity reach this year’s fundraising target of £500,000 - if you’d like to help us, and the organisation smash this then feel free to donate here!