I slept on the street with the Help the Homeless society
We’ve raised over £2,000 so far
On Friday 14th October over 200 people, including 15 members of the University of Liverpool’s Help the Homeless society, took to the streets for the night to raise money for the Whitechapel Centre.
The Whitechapel Centre works tirelessly across Merseyside with some of the area’s most vulnerable people to provide accommodation, food and a more secure future for rough sleepers, sofa surfers and those at risk of becoming homeless. The sleepout, which took place for its third year running in the grounds of St. Nick’s church, is an opportunity for people to come together and raise money to tackle the ever increasing issue.
After obsessively checking the weather forecast for the Friday night, the time finally came for group of us from the Help the Homeless society to hit the streets and ‘sleep rough’ for the night. Although the sleepout was nothing like the cold harsh reality of living on the streets, it gave us all an insight into what thousands of people up and down the country face every day and for them, is a cold, harsh reality.
We began the night at 7pm by gathering everything we needed to create our shelter. Cardboard, tarpaulin and duct tape – three essentials to make our pad for the night. We used plastic sheeting on the floor and built up the walls of our ‘fort’ with cardboard fruit boxes, carefully duct taping it tightly together to protect us from the rats which were supposedly lurking in the bushes around us.
Once our craftsmanship was finished, everyone taking part gathered together to listen to representatives from the Whitechapel Centre speak about the work they do across Merseyside. Two men who have been using the Whitechapel system for a number of years took to their guitars, forming the group ‘The Chavtastics’, and performed to the audience. Later, the University of Liverpool Medics choir performed a few songs before the evening’s entertainment was finished a performance from Rossa Murray.
When it came to getting some sleep, the 12 of us gathered in our fort and stretched a sheet of tarpaulin over the top to keep us as warm as possible. At first the weather was fairly mild, but the temperature quickly dropped and by 3am it was bitterly cold. It was far from the most comfortable night’s sleep in the world, but thankfully the wind and the rain held off and by 7am we were getting up to pack away our shelter, call the next cab home and crawl into our warm beds for a few hours of proper rest.
We hope the £2,000 we have already raised will make a huge difference those sleeping rough on the streets, but we’re still raising money to hit our target and any more donations would greatly be appreciated.