Reading's Homeless Support Charity

Big Sleep Out 2016

Big Sleep Out 2016

63 people slept out on Friday 19 August and have so far raised over £14,000. With donations still coming in we’re hoping the final total will be over £15,000!

After heavy rain during the day, the sun came out at 7pm when everyone turned up with their sleeping bags and cardboard shelters and to pick their spot where they’d try to get some sleep Big Sleeper 2016s for the night.

At 8pm everyone gathered together to hear first-hand how they were making a difference – preventing homelessness in Reading by sleeping out.

We heard from a young woman affected by domestic violence. She was evicted with her two young children on Christmas Eve and moved into temporary accommodation that she described as ‘looking like a crack house’. Launchpad have supported her, helped her practically with a double buggy for her children donated by a kind supporter and helped her navigate Reading’s housing bidding system. Her temporary housing is now permanent so she can start to make it a home, putting up curtain poles and painting the bedroom for her girls. Her aspirations for the future are, she really wants to get a job and make a better future for her and her children.

Then followed praise from Reading Mayor Councillor Mohammed Ayub and Launchpad Chairman Roger Chester for everyone prepared to sleep rough for the night.

Juliette winning shelter The shelter competition was won by Juliette and her beautifully decorated cardboard box – complete with bare feet painted on the end!

Everyone was then encouraged outside for the rest of the night until sunrise. Launchpad’s neighbours Shed Café had kindly made soup from vegetables grown on our allotment for everyone to tuck into.

Davie McGirr friend of our ambassador Matt Allwright serenaded us on his guitar before bed.

It was an unseasonably chilly August night and sleeping on concrete isn’t ever comfortable.

Darren By 5.30am most people were awake. Phil from Tamp Culture Coffee slept out before getting up super early so everyone could be on their way by 7am with a coffee.

Ele Buckley, Launchpad Event and Fundraising Manager, said “our sleep out is very much a tiny insight into what it’s actually like to sleep rough. Everyone was safe, we had access to toilets. Then we go home, have a bath and go straight to bed, exhausted from just one night sleeping out. The reality for people really sleeping rough is they have to do it night after night.”

You can still support this year’s Big Sleep Out by texting LPAD16 £10 to 70070.

View all the photos from the night here >

Big Sleep Out 2017

We’ll be announcing our 2017 Big Sleep Out date soon, please check back in the autumn.

Meet Claire

Claire Big Sleep Out

‘I’d never realised how comfortable a bed & duvet was until after I’d slept on concrete for a night! It was an excellent way to raise awareness & it was a lovely event to be a part of.’

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