School Sleep Out for Centrepoint
Over 40 of our students slept out at Shine in Harehills to raise money and awareness for charity Centrepoint, who help young people who are homeless.
Tens of thousands of young people ask for help with homelessness every year. Often for them, leaving home is safer than staying. As young people, they have different issues and needs than homeless adults and are more likely to be ‘hidden homeless’; sleeping on friend’s sofas, floors, on buses or even with strangers.
Working with AheadPartnership, Yorkshire Building Society and other local businesses the sleep out was a great way to raise awareness, and also help our students understand some of the struggles of being homeless. There was no heating, no beds, and no mobile phones or electronics were allowed. It was as close to sleeping rough we hope our students ever get.
BBC Newsround even came to film us, which you can watch here.
On the night there were a series of activities to get them thinking and put themselves in the shoes of a homeless young person. There were also some fun team-building exercises guided by West Yorkshire Police, and a chance for them to talk about the night.
Ms Driscoll, Mrs Johnson and other staff were on hand to dish out the ‘Soup Kitchen’ style evening meal and make sure everyone had a sleeping bag for lights out. Even with these ‘luxuries’ many students found it hard to fall asleep, “on a scale of one to ten, it was one. It was awful, I was freezing cold and hungry.” Fatima, year 11.
The sleep out was an eye-opener for staff and students for what homeless people go through every day. Each student was sponsored to take part, and they opened a just giving page to collect even more donations. Overall they managed to raise more than £2000 through their hard work.
We are so proud of all the students and staff who gave their Friday night to such an important cause. Well done!