A NIGHT spent sleeping rough in temperatures hovering around freezing is how hardy fundraisers are planning to spend this Saturday night.
Volunteers including a team from Redcar & Cleveland Council will endure a winter’s night on the streets in a bid to raise awareness and funding to combat homelessness.
The Real High Street Sleep Out event, which runs from 8pm to 8am, is in aid of the Coatham House projects which provides safe accommodation for young people aged 16 to 25.
“It’s going to be an interesting and challenging experience but as volunteers we will have the luxury of going back to our warm cosy homes the next day,” said Steven Goldswain, Redcar & Cleveland Council’s cabinet member for community safety.
“Sadly this is not the case for young people who find themselves homeless and why we need to support the fantastic work of charities like Coatham House.”
The charity was set up in 1984 by a group of local residents now offers supported accommodation in a hostel as well as outreach support to former residents.
People are also given support in securing benefits and tackling debt and drug issues to help them live independently.
Councillor Goldswain will be joined by Olwyn Peters, Redcar & Cleveland Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism and other staff.
Organisers are hoping more people will join the effort and are looking to the business community, including the town’s pubs, for support.
Natalie King, who is helping Coatham House organise the event, said: “It’s great to have the team from Redcar & Cleveland along but we still want more volunteers to get involved.
“Homelessness is a lonely and cold experience and that’s what this event will portray to those taking part.”
Volunteers, who must be 18 or above and physically fit, should provide their own sleeping bags and warm clothing but some comforts, including toilets and security, will be provided.
There is a £3 registration fee but participants are encouraged to raise sponsorship. For more information call Coatham House on 01642-486844, email firstname.lastname@example.org or search for #redcarsleepout on Twitter to get live updates during the sleepout on Saturday.