On Friday 18th November, Wycombe Homeless Connection is holding its Big Sleep Out in the grounds of All Saints Church High Wycombe – its biggest single generator of funds for the year. All Saints Marlow have decided to support the event by doing our own mini version in our churchyard on the same night.
Homelessness is a growing problem. Wycombe Homeless Connection has helped over 400 people in the last year; people who do not qualify for council assistance and have nowhere else to turn. Homeless individuals are often people like you and me who have fallen on hard times. They are, in the main, a hidden group; the usual picture of the unwashed down-and-out squatting in a doorway with a can of cheap lager is completely unrepresentative of the people I met while working at one of the night shelters during the last winter.
Homeless typically is the result of a relationship breakdown, redundancy or simply the end of a tenancy. The adage that you are only two pay cheques away from homelessness certainly seems to be true. If you are unfortunate enough to be under the age of 60 and have no children, then the council is unable to help – you are literally on your own. Unless you have the money for a rent deposit, homelessness swiftly follows.
WHC believes that every individual has worth and deserves a fresh start, no matter what their situation. It costs in the region of £160,000 to run its advice, support and resettlement service and its January-March winter night shelter. Our sleep out in Marlow will be a sponsored event raising money to support this vital work.
So how can you help? Swap your bed for a sleeping bag and fight homelessness in your sleep by spending the night of the 18th November under the stars in your own personalised cardboard box. Children over 12 may take part as well as adults (12-15 year-olds require parental permission and must be accompanied by a responsible adult). The sleeping area is fully outdoors, so bring a sleeping bag and warm clothing and maybe a foam under-mat. In addition, you will need to bring your own cardboard (or other insulation), groundsheet and waterproof covering in case of rain. In case of extreme weather, we will have access to the church.
Want to take part? Click here to register for the Marlow Big Sleep Out. To help you record all your sponsorship, we have produced a sponsorship form that you can download and use.
If you’re not able to make it then perhaps you will consider sponsoring someone who can. You can also support those sleeping under the stars by helping to provide hot drinks in the evening and breakfast in the morning.