Highlights of the Big Sleep Out at Chichester Cathedral 2021
This weekend we were finally able to once again gather within the grounds of Chichester Cathedral for the Stonepillow annual fundraising event, The Big Sleep Out, and what fun we had!
Although the Sleep Out has run for several years, last year's event had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which gave this year's event a special sense of community and belonging.
Distracting the general public from their shopping, the day started in front of the Cathedral with entertainment from The Arabesque Performing Arts School, Sussex Steel, Vocalist Rebecca Serle, Children’s Magician Nick Clark, and seamlessly linking it all together, and pumping out some great tunes, our host and compere Chris Tarrant.
Meanwhile, on the southwest lawn, the participants began the challenge of building their sleepout shelters out of cardboard. Groups of Scouts, Air Cadets, families and friends worked together competitively throughout the afternoon to make sure their shelter would stand out in the crowd for the Shelter building competition.
"We camp in hammocks, we camp in tents, we do expeditions. But this is a whole different ball game, we're sleeping in a cardboard box," said Katherine Bilham, a leader in the Bognor Regis Explorer Scouts. "It's a very harsh reality, because some people really do sleep like this. It gives you this appreciation of your bed, your house and your home. Everybody deserves a place to live."
This year’s shelter competition was judged by Shelagh Legrave CBE DL (chair of Stonepillow Trustees), High Sheriff of West Sussex, Neil Hart, and Brendon Cook Managing Director of Kiwi Recruitment. Each shelter was marked out of 10 for design, durability and creativity, and the judging panel awarded 3rd place to Air Cadets 461 Squadron, and 1st & 2nd place to the Tsunami Explorer Scouts.
We would like to thank The Rapid Relief Team who were on hand throughout the event to provide refreshments, snacks and yummy burgers for dinner!
‘Good Times Disco’ DJ’s Alan & Tor kept the energy going by taking requests and updating us on the shelter building progress, and also featured the amazing talents of female vocalist Rebecca Serle. We particularly enjoyed a great party dance set that kept everyone warm, even if we did get damp bottoms doing ‘Oops upside you head’!
Before bedding down for the night everyone headed into the Bishop’s Kitchen for more bedtime drinks and treats with acoustic songs and tunes from Nick on vocals & guitar and Bernard on accordion.
Stonepillow would like to thank everyone who have contributed to the success of this year’s event, the supporters who slept out to raise funds, the Entertainers who gave their time, the local businesses that donated food and shelter building items and prizes. Without the support from the local community this wonderful event couldn’t take place and we are so grateful for the continued support we receive, not just for The Big Sleep Out, but all year round and as we head into winter.
So far, The Big Sleep Out has raised nearly £5,000 with donations still coming in!
On behalf of the Stonepillow clients and team we would lie to say a huge thank you to everyone for a great event. We look forward to doing it all again in 2022!