Hurstmere's "Sleep Out"
On Friday 13th December, a brave group of Year 7 & 8 pupils attended the very first Hurstmere Sleep Out in support of Centre Point. The boys selected Centre Point as our charity as they are the UK's leading youth homelessness charity. They support young people aged 16-25 across 60 services in London, Yorkshire, Manchester and the North East of England. They provide accommodation, health support and life skills to get homeless young people back into education, training and employment.
We were fortunate to have Chris Hill from the Rob Hill Foundation come to talk to the boys about homelessness. Chris discussed the causes of homelessness and was impressed with the boys understanding of the causes. Chris went on to discuss what we can do to support and discussed his “rucksack” project; this project encourages people to create a rucksack of essentials that can be given to a homeless person. The boys loved this idea and are keen to take part next year so watch this space. We were also fortunate on the night to be able to talk to David Walker, a former successful boxer who unfortunately found himself homeless a few years ago. David discussed this with the boys and also explored the benefits of charity and how it has helped him turn his life around. The boys then enjoyed a Christmas quiz and a film as we bedded down in the Sports Hall for the night.
Between them, the boys managed to raise an amazing £400 which will be donated to Centre Point. We would like to thank them for their enthusiasm and support which was infectious and kept us all going through the cold night.
Well done Hurstmere!
Archie said “the Sleep Out was lots of fun; we learnt about the causes of homelessness and how scary it can be.”
Adam said “I learnt about what it is like to be homeless and how I would feel if I was living on the streets with just a sleeping bag of things. The Sleep Out was lots of fun.”
On Friday 13th December, we had our first ever, Hurstmere Sleep Out; there were 21 students from Year 7 & 8 and 6 staff. After we had all unpacked our roll mats and multiple sleeping bags (and spent a while rolling around the hall in them), Mr Hill from the Rob Hill Foundation came to speak to us. He talked about the causes and dangers of homelessness, how we can help, and places that people can go if they find themselves homeless. He was accompanied by an ex-professional boxer, David, who explained his journey and how he ended up sleeping homeless. During the talk, he discussed some of the issues for people who are sleeping homeless and some of the misconceptions around substance abuse and homeless people. This was a really informative part of the evening and helped to remind us of why we were all there.
After that, we got a few snacks and a very watery hot chocolate (thanks Mrs Murphy!) and settled down for a Christmas quiz. At about 10:30 the teachers started calming us all down and some of us chose to get in our sleeping bags and huddle round the projector to watch “A Christmas Carol” with the teachers. A lot of people fell asleep during the movie but some of us were too excited and didn’t fall asleep until later – sorry Mr Waghorn as I know we kept you awake!
At 7am (a very mean) Mr Maher turned all the lights on brightly and we started to pack up. It ended as quickly as it had begun and I was sad it was all over. I’d love to take part again and know that our efforts will hopefully help to keep a young person safe this Christmas.
Many thanks for all the teachers who volunteered to help to ensure we could have this experience.
Merry Christmas Everyone!