Volunteers sleep out on cold pavement to raise cash for Milton Keynes Winter Night Shelter
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A group of 25 volunteers spent a night on a cold pavement at CMK to help those who have no choice about sleeping rough.
The Big Sleep Out 2021 was organised to raise funds for the city's Winter Night Shelter charity, which helps dozens of homeless people stay warm and fed each year.
It took place on Friday night outside the charity's centre at Unity Park Station.
The group consisted of staff, volunteers and supporters who lined the pavements with their sleeping bags on layers of cardboard for the night, which included a temperature drop to a low of 5 degrees.
Winter Night Shelter spokesman Sara Millington said: “This event comes at a crucial time for us, as we prepare to open our Night Shelter service for rough sleepers this winter. We’re so glad that everyone who took part was willing to endure a night in the cold to help those who have no choice.
"It was an eye-opening experience for those who took part, including not only having to contend with the cold but also the discomfort of sleeping on concrete, the noise of the traffic until late into the night and then again in the early morning, whilst keeping an eye open for unwelcome visits from rats!
"It provided a small insight for people into some of the challenges of having to sleep on the streets.”
The charity is thanking Bridgegate Security for supporting the event by sending two security personnel to keep watch and ensure everyone involved had a safe evening.
Participants sought sponsorship from family and friends, with more than £7,200 being raised and it
is hoped this total may rise as people respond to hearing about the event.
To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/WNSMK-Sleepout-2021.
The Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes has also just launched its volunteer opportunities for the winter ahead and is looking for volunteers to support its Night Shelter, its evening reception café and morning welcome service, as well as volunteers to help with food provision and cooking in the community.
More details and volunteer registration forms are available here.