Residents in Warwick district getting ready to sleep rough for charity

Residents will be braving the elements tomorrow (Friday) to help raise money for a homelessness charity.

This will be part of the Helping Hands big sleep out event on Friday.

Rainbows guider Julie Brown and Rev Jo Parker, vicar at St Marks Church in Leamington.

Rainbows guider Julie Brown and Rev Jo Parker, vicar at St Marks Church in Leamington.

This year participants do not find out the location of where they will set up until 4pm.

Among them will be Rainbow’s guider Julie Brown and Rev Jo Parker, vicar at St Mark’s Church in Leamington.

Julie, who has been a Rainbows guider at St Mark’s Church in Leamington for 28 years, said: “It’s the first time that I have attended the big sleep out. Lianne Kirkman from Helping Hands came along to the Rainbows group about two years ago and I was quite interested in the sleep out.

“I’m really nervous about doing it. We don’t know where we are going until 4pm, then we have to make a shelter for the evening.

“To not know where you are going makes you feel very anxious and worried and this is just for one night – then you think about how it must feel for these guys who don’t know where they are going from one night to the next.”

Rev Jo Parker said: “Julie said she was doing the sleep out at church and asked if anyone wanted to join. I thought it would be good to support her. I’m feeling slightly nervous. We get a tiny taste of what it means to be out on the streets. It is in no way similar but it is trying to get us to understand more.

“It’s one night and it raises awareness of what people go through this time of year and it raises money to help people in these circumstances so it’s a win-win.

“More and more people are struggling at the moment and it’s really important that people are made aware of what is happening in our society and it can really make a difference.”

Julie and Jo have so far raised around £1,000 between online fundraising and sponsorship forms.

Julie said: “Everyone has been extremely supportive. My family, friends, colleagues at the Care Bureau in Leamington and the community at St Mark’s Church have been amazing.”

To donate to the online fundraising page click here.