A Taste of Rough Sleeping
Local MP Steve Baker joined 45 volunteers last Saturday night for a taste of rough sleeping in High Wycombe. Cardboard shelters and sleeping bags provided inadequate comfort as temperatures plummeted, giving volunteers an insight into the challenges faced every day by the town’s homeless population.
The Eden Shopping Centre hosted the sponsored sleepout event, organised by Wycombe Homeless Connection. Sustained by hot pizza donated by Pizza Express and Tesco bacon butties the following morning, the hardy participants raised a staggering £20,000.
Steve Baker said “It was horrible”, whilst Dreams tycoon Mike Clare, a fellow ‘sleepouter’, commented: “It was a relatively cushy experience – what would it have been like if it had been ten degrees colder?” Meanwhile, Cllr Maz Hussain admitted that he was “cold and paranoid at about 5am”.
The high profile event, also visited by the town’s Mayor and Deputy Mayor, was hailed a massive success by charity bosses. Sheena Dykes, chair of trustees and sleepout participant, said:“We were all very stiff and sore in the morning. The experience will remain with us all for a long, long time. I am so grateful to all the participants, sponsors and, of course, to Eden Shopping Centre for providing a safe venue for the night”.
Daniel Tomkinson, Centre Director at Eden Shopping Centre commented:
“We were delighted to play host to The Wycombe Homeless Connection and their brave supporters who spent the night in our service yard. It was such an important event to be part of and was a great success in raising awareness and much needed funds. The charity does amazing work and we will continue to support them in the future.”
To sustain the work that Wycombe Homeless Connection achieves, the charity needs to raise at least £150,000 a year; the hard working team relies on public donations as well as the excellent work carried out by volunteers.
More volunteers are needed for the Castle Street charity – visit wyhoc.org.uk for more information on how you can get involved.