Sleep out to raise funds to support rough sleepers

People in Exeter are being invited to sleep outside for one night in March to help support those who sleep on the streets every night across throughout the city and in Devon.

Homeless charity Julian House has announced the return of the annual Big Exeter Sleep-Out event at St James Park Football Stadium, in partnership with Exeter City Community Trust.

The event takes place on the 22 March, and the charity is hoping to get as many members of the public to sleep outside for the night.

Money raised from the event will go towards supporting those that find themselves outside every night.

Julian House is a South-West-based charity that helps vulnerable, homeless, and at-risk people get back on their feet and rebuild their lives. The charity operates over 40 distinct projects, accommodation sites, and social enterprises across South-West England, extending a lifeline to over 2,000 individuals annually. This year, an enduring housing crisis and escalating living costs mean the call for their life-saving services has been louder than ever.

The charity urges individuals, student groups, corporate teams, and families to take part in the event. It’s suitable for anybody who is concerned about the issue of homelessness in their community and is looking to take some action and raise funds for a worthwhile local cause.

Annabelle Lowes, Senior Community and Events Fundraiser at Julian House, said: “We are thankful that this event is happening yet again in 2024. It holds a special place in the heart of our community and generates tremendous support and awareness for the vulnerable people that we care for here in Devon. We are incredibly grateful for every participants effort in joining us to help raise vital funds, and to Exeter City Community Trust and Rapid Relief for supporting us each year.”

The event is certainly a challenge, but spending one night outside can’t possibly replicate what it is like to be homeless and on the streets. After the Big Exeter Sleep-Out, those who take part can go home, have a warm bath, a nice breakfast and chat to family or friends about their experience, perhaps even go back to bed to catch up on sleep lost the night before.

These simple comforts are not afforded to those affected by homelessness. But, by being sponsored to sleep out for just one night, you will be helping others who don’t have the luxury of their own home to return to.

Giving up just one night really could transform the lives of others.

Cllr Martin Pearce, Lead Councillor for Communities and Homelessness Prevention, said: “Julian House do an amazing job in Exeter supporting rough sleepers. We are grateful for the work they carry out in supporting vulnerable people on our streets.

“To anyone contemplating doing the Big Exeter Sleep, thank you for thinking of the charity. Your efforts, should you decide to do it are very much appreciated. Thank you!”

Places for the event will go quickly, so sign up here: www.julianhouse.org.uk/support-us/events/big-exeter-sleep/ or contact Annabelle for more information: annabelle.lowes@julianhouse.org.uk

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