Sleeping Bag War On Homelessness in Nottingham

The Nottingham-based charity Framework is inviting the public to spend the night in a sleeping bag at Nottingham Racecourse on Saturday 7 October to help tackle the homelessness crisis.
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Framework’s Big Sleep Out aims to raise more than £50,000 and every penny will help get the increasing number of rough sleepers off the streets and into accommodation.

Framework is appealing to individuals, groups of friends, families, community groups, and teams from local businesses to sign up, get sponsored and encourage others to take part.

Framework's Big Sleep Out 2022Framework's Big Sleep Out 2022
Framework's Big Sleep Out 2022

Framework’s Head of Fundraising and Communications, Claire Eden sums up the crisis and the need for support:

“The combined impact of the shortage of affordable housing and the cost of living crisis is having a devastating effect on people’s lives.

“Rough sleeping in Nottingham has increased by 41% in the past year. Working people are finding they cannot afford the rent and people who are sofa surfing are no longer welcome due to the extra burden on crippling household costs.

“At its official count for the month of August our Street Outreach Team found 57 people sleeping rough in Nottingham alone. This is the highest monthly figure this year and the highest number for August in the past five years.

Framework's Big Sleep Out 2022Framework's Big Sleep Out 2022
Framework's Big Sleep Out 2022

“We are not aiming to replicate the experience that homeless people endure on the streets which can be dangerous and often life-threatening. However at three in the morning, when people taking part are cold to the bone, they will have greater sympathy for people who are sleeping outside every night.

“We need the public’s help now more than ever to support the increasing number of people who will experience the trauma of rough sleeping this winter, many of them for the first time. Hundreds of people will face the danger and indignity of sleeping on the streets, in shop doorways, in car parks, on building sites and in graveyards.”

Explaining the importance of participation in the Big Sleep Out, Sam Lanes, who runs Framework’s Street Outreach Team working with rough sleepers across Nottingham seven days a week, 365 days a year, said:

“The Big Sleep Out gives some insight into what people who are sleeping rough experience every night and raises so much awareness and money to help those individuals.”

Framework’s Event Fundraiser Natalie Dickson who is organising the Big Sleep Out says:

“The Big Sleep Out appeals to people of all ages who want to do something worthwhile for a good cause. It attracts individuals, groups of friends, families, community groups such as scouts, and teams from local businesses.

“Sleeping outside in the elements for a single cold October night is challenging enough but, unfortunately, it’s something more and more people have to endure every night.

“Framework’s Big Sleep Out is an opportunity for like-minded people to come together, enjoy a great evening and raise funds for a deserving cause – helping people in need by sleeping out so others don’t have to and providing support that can change lives.”

This feeling is endorsed by people who took part last year. One said: “The Big Sleep Out is an event with a great community spirit. I would 100% recommend that people try this. It really makes you appreciate your home comforts.”

Another summed it up: “The Big Sleep Out is such a great experience and one of my proudest achievements. Everyone should put this on their bucket list as a must-do!”