Dinnington: Dozens swap home comforts for a night sleeping rough

Dozens of people swapped the comfort of their own home for a night sleeping on the streets for [email protected]

By Sam Chetwynd
Tuesday, 29th October 2013, 11:06 am
Tristan Wiles, Sian Ripley, Abi Madden and Margaret Ripley
Tristan Wiles, Sian Ripley, Abi Madden and Margaret Ripley

The Dinnington-based charity held its seventh annual Big Sleepout event at Parkgate Shopping centre in Rotherham.

Those who took part left all comforts behind as they were only allowed basic items to keep warm such as a sleeping bag and cardboard box.

A total of 115 people took part and helped to raise awareness and vital funds for [email protected], which helps children and young people at risk of running away.

Mark Smith, [email protected] director of operations and strategy said: “It has been brilliant to finish off the Big Sleepout season at Parkgate Shopping, where it all started seven years ago.”

“All the Big Sleepout events this year have been a huge success and the funds and awareness raised will help us to continue to deliver essential services for young runaways including the only young person’s refuge in the UK and a 24 hour helpline.”

“We’re very grateful to everyone that took part and to Parkgate Shopping for hosting the event.”

He added: “I’ve taken part in the Big Sleepouts for several years and I come back again and again because it’s such a valuable experience. It really helps you realise how difficult it is for young person to sleep rough and how desperate they must be to make that choice.”

Billy Smith, Parkgate’s operations manager, said: “As with previous years, the atmosphere was terrific, the behaviour impeccable and the mood very positive.”

“This is our seventh [email protected] Sleepout, and it has lost none of its importance and relevance as can be seen from the numbers attending.”

The Big Sleepout in Rotherham was the last of the year following the event in Barnsley, Sheffield Doncaster.