The Big Sleep Out 2014
The Big Sleep Out 2014 took place on October 25-26, giving around 100 hardy souls the opportunity to find out what it’s like to be homeless for a night while raising money for Stonepillow.
Taking place in the grounds of Chichester Cathedral, the event saw participants sleeping under the stars with only homemade cardboard shelters to protect them from the elements.
Speaking of the continuing popularity of the Big Sleep Out – which is the organisation’s biggest annual fundraising event -, Stonepillow CEO Sylvie Johnston said: “We are overwhelmed by the amazing show of support and generosity from both participants and local businesses.
“It means that every penny raised will go directly to our projects which help homeless people make a sustainable move from the streets to independent living.”
She continued: “Homelessness is a massive issue in Chichester and across West Sussex and money raised through the Big Sleep Out is incredibly significant.
“Every penny counts - from the youngest child’s pocket money donation, to the staggering pledge of just under £2,000 from Hungry Guest’s super-cool master baker, Troels Bendix. A significant donation towards costs was also made by local firm Sheen Stickland.”
The day kicked off with great music from Chichester guitar and steel-drum combo Steel Strum, followed by rising-star Henry Maybury, who sang Lost Days, which was written for his brother Tom who died as a result of alcohol addiction aged just 29. Passers-by were also able to join in with the ‘Home is where the ? is’ community artwork project.
The annual shelter-building competition was judged by Chairman of West Sussex Council Amanda Jupp, Mayor of Chichester, Cllr John Hughes and Chairman of Stonepillow Trustees Shelagh Legrave.
This year’s winner Alex Jones (aged 10) - who was assisted by his father Graham Jones - received tickets to Chichester Cinema New Park. It was a well deserved win by Alex who has been planning his entry since last year’s Sleepout!
Speaking of the shelter-building, participant Rosie Hardwell said: “Our little group of four had a fantastic experience and feel very happy to have been part of a very special event.
“Once again we met some really amazing people, very dedicated to the cause. We are looking forward to next year”.