A charity 'sleep out' event held in Leamington last week has been heralded a success.
Helping Hands held their fifth annual 'sleep out' on February 7 on the grounds of All Saints’ Church in Leamington.
The charity works with vulnerable and homeless people in the district by providing much-needed help through a soup kitchen, their cafe in Warwick, skills training and their ‘House2Home’ service, which provides household items that the tenants could not afford to buy themselves.
Around 70 people took part in the event, which has helped to raise approximately £10,000.
A spokesperson from Helping Hands said: "The event was a great success - the stormy weather, a building alarm and lots of drunk people shouting at us provided a very realistic picture of life on the streets.
"Everyone who took part came away feeling very humbled and empathetic towards the huge difficulties that homeless people face.
"Participants had a true soup kitchen experience, queuing up for jacket potatoes in the drop in centre
"People we have helped including those that were formally homeless, had drug dependancies and their families talked to us about how the services that Helping Hands provides have helped them turn their lives around
"Four Wasps players kept up people's spirits and helped to set up the tents, these were Tommy Taylor, Jack Owlett, Zurabi Zhvania and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen. Tommy and Jack volunteer in our soup kitchen every Thursday, and are a key part of our team."
Lianne Kirkman, founder of Helping Hands added: “The Big Sleepout 2020 was a huge success for Helping Hands in opening the eyes of the community to the tough realities that people who are homeless face every day.
"Rough sleepers are hugely vulnerable and whilst one night on the streets couldn’t ever replicate how tough they have it, we hope it will make the wider community more empathetic.”