Will you give up the comfort of your own bed for one night to help the homeless?
West London Day Centre is running our second Sleep Out for the Shelter on Friday 21st October, raising money for the Westminster Churches & Synagogue Night Shelter. The funds raised will go directly towards supporting the night shelter guests move on into more settled housing, and onto a new and better chapter in their lives
The Sleep Out provides you with an opportunity to be sponsored by friends, family and contacts to swap your home comforts for one night sleeping out in the centre of London, fundraising towards helping those that have to endure much worse sleeping conditions every night. This year we are pleased to host it at St James's Church, Piccadilly, in their beautiful gardens. In the evening there will be hot refreshments and entertainment before we all bed down for the night.
In the morning breakfast will be served - just like it is in the night shelter - inside the church. This is a time for collective reflection on our experiences and thoughts of the night before, and to discuss why services like the Westminster Churches and Synagogue Night Shelter are so important.
By taking part in the Sleep Out, you get to experience safely a few of the challenges that street homeless people have to face every night. We're not trying to replicate homelessness, but we hope it will help you to understand a little of what homeless people have to endure without the support of the winter night shelter.
Westminster Churches and Synagogue Night Shelter is coordinated by West London Day Centre. Every night of the week between October - May, a church or synagogue in Westminster opens its doors to provide vital respite for homeless guests, who would otherwise find themselves out on the streets in the cold weather. Jon Kuhrt, Executive Director of Social Work, says
The Sleep Out has been a very important annual event for West London Mission over recent years. Of course, one night sleeping out can never replicate properly what so many of our clients go through on a nightly basis – but it does help give us some idea of the challenges and feelings faced by those who sleep rough. Over the past 3 years, my three children have all participated and it has been especially thought-provoking to understand better what homeless people have to go through.
Vitally, the event has enabled us to raise a great deal of funds to support the Westminster Churches and Synagogue Winter Shelter that we coordinate. Now, with 13 churches and a synagogue are involved, we are able to offer a warm bed to rough sleepers for 8 months of the year. It is great this year that once again, the sleep out is hosted by St James’s Piccadilly, one of the key churches at the heart of the Winter Shelter.”
Last year the Sleep Out raised a fantastic £25,434, which supported 36 homeless guests over the winter months, and assisted 39 of these guests into longer term housing, and 11 to begin paid employment. Help us to beat that total and help even more street homeless people this winter!
We have a limited number of spaces available, so make sure you book your spot as early as possible:
You can also download a paper copy of the registration form here and - along with your registration fee - send it to us.
Want more information? Download our Sleep Out leaflet here!
If you can't take part this year, but would like to support those that are, please consider making a donation via http://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/wlm/SleepOutfortheShelter2016/ - thank you!