On Thursday 21st April we joined Simon on the Streets, along with various other local businesses, for a sponsored Sleep Out to help raise money for the homeless.
Simon on the Streets in an independent charity that helps and supports those who are sleeping rough or are in danger of doing so. Sleeping rough is not just a case of not having a home, it stems from many other problems including; drugs, alcohol, childhood problems and social, mental and behavioural issues.
The team at Simon on the Streets are non-government funded, which gives them the flexibility to work with their service users on a more individual level. The team operate weekly soup runs, street outreach work and individual intensive support. This level of support means that the team can work at the pace of each individual service user to help them make positive changes in their lives.
The purpose of the Sleep Out is not to replicate sleeping rough, that is not something that could be recreated overnight, instead it is to raise money and awareness of the charity and the incredible service that they provide.
We made our way to the cold concrete of the Stadium concourse where the Sleep Out was taking place. It was a pleasantly warm night, having been one of the hottest days of the year so far. Armed with our sleeping bags, cardboard boxes, plastic sheets and plenty of layers, we were prepared for whatever the night might bring.
After a short presentation from the Simon on the Streets team we all began to bed down for the night. The reality of sleeping rough was setting in, with many of us being kept awake by creepy crawlies and the chill from the cold spring night, but we knew that these worries were so insignificant compared to what those who actually sleep out on the streets have to deal with on a nightly basis. We were not afraid of getting attacked or being kept awake by the idea that we could wake up to all of our possessions having been stolen. We soon realised how lucky we are and how much we take for granted in life.
Woken by the 5:30am sun rise and the birds overhead, stiff and tired from the uncomfortable night’s sleep, we all gathered for our breakfast sandwiches before going on to work and our normal lives.
For the homeless that is their life. With the help of donations Simon on the Street can work towards changing this by helping the homeless to get off the street and make the positive changes they need to start a better life.
If you would still like to make a donation it’s not too late, please send your support to www.justgiving.com/kirklees-stadium-development-ltd
You can also check out Simon on the Streets webpage here for more information on what they do and any upcoming events that you can get involved in!