25th October 2017

Sleep with Simon 2017

#SleepwithSimon 2017

The 28th September was our main annual sleep out at the Tilt Yard of the Armouries and what a fantastic event it was. We had 92 sleepers attend which is an excellent turnout and I am quite safe saying that everyone had a good, educational and enjoyable experience.

I am not using the word ‘enjoyable’ lightly, the idea of the sleepout is not to try and replicate what it is like to sleep, homeless on the streets. It is too controlled an environment to do that, rather it is to give people ataster of how it feels sleeping outside, in the open and vulnerable to the elements. Just as importantly it is so we can all get together and discuss the whole issue of homelessness and to swap ideas.

This year we had two great activities arranged for people who attended. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, sleepers could only attend one of the activities each. The first was an exclusive showing of the Shed Crew performed by the Red Ladder Theatre Company at their set in the nearby Albion Electric Warehouse. A story surrounding youth homelessness in East End Park, Leeds during the 1990s, the Shed Crew was enjoyed by all and was verythought provoking. This was a sell-out show for the entire fortnight of it’s run so we are deeply thankful that they gave us one of their nights.

The second was a presentation by Richard McCann. Richard is an extremely successful motivational speaker and it was very thought provoking to hear the story of his life, the hardships and quite frankly terrible situation he and his siblings found themselves in and the way that he brought himself through it to achieve what he has. It was also quite unique as Richard managed to share his ‘stage’ with a number of vehicles including an Uber taxi.

Lastly, we asked those attending to design a banner for their team. There were some really excellent banners produced, in fact they were all fantastic which made the judging extremely difficult. With strong contenders such as Hudgells Solicitors and the very green Schofield Sweeney teams, the Co-op team managed a strong third place, narrowly beaten by AJ Gallagher but the winners were a small team of only two people, Jess and Laura, both Phd students from Leeds who created a very clever banner.

Obviously one of the motivations for the charity to hold such an event is to raise funds. Our supporters raised an incredible £15,400 for the charity and for that, we are extremely thankful.

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