HARDY and determined volunteers are needed to join this year’s annual CATH (Chester Aid to the Homeless).
The Sleepout, now in its 27 th year, aims not just to raise funds for this essential charity but also give people taking part just a tiny chance to experience what many people experience night after night.
CATH relies on fundraising to support its essential work in not just providing shelter, but also providing the types of services which help people improve and rebuild their lives, from access to health care and dentistry to education and volunteering opportunities.
Each year dozens of supporters join CATH staff and volunteers in the Friary car park, Grosvenor Street, for a sponsored Sleepout to raise money for the charity – and to experience sleeping on the streets first hand.
This year’s event takes place on Friday, December 4 from 10pm to 6am, with registration at the Harold Tomlins Centre, Grosvenor Street, from 10pm.
Last year the Sleepout raised £10,000 which went towards supporting education for homeless people, counselling and support services as well as the Harold Tomlins Centre which provides daytime food, shelter and access to showers and clothes washing facilities to about 500 people.
Chief Executive Robert Bisset said: "Sleeping out in December is a challenge and although we have people joining us from teenagers to people in their 70s we understand that some people don’t want to.
"But we’d be happy for donations from people who want to support us to not sleep out – so perhaps they could send a donation to sleep in their own beds.
"We’re also urging parents and schools, whose children are too young to sleep out, to consider organising a sponsored sleepover instead."
Sleep outers are advised to bring warm sleeping bags, warm clothing, hats, gloves and scarves as well as a flask of soup or hot drinks.
A sponsorship pack with all the details and a sponsorship form is available from CATH on 01244 314834.