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Cathedral sleepout for Nightstop
September 26th, 2017
The 30th birthday of homelessness emergency accommodation network Nightstop will be celebrated with the biggest-ever fundraising Sleepout at Durham Cathedral.
More than 200 people are expected to sleep out in the Cathedral on the night of Friday, 13 October – in a bid to raise £15,000 for Nightstop North East & Cumbria.
Nightstop, which started in 1987 with one project in Leeds, now has 33 services around Britain, providing people facing homelessness with a bed for the night, a hot meal and a listening ear in the homes of trained volunteer hosts.
Last year, the network, which receives support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, provided more than 12,100 safe bed-nights for 1,390 people in 610 host homes.
Nightstop North East & Cumbria – one of the network’s busiest services – laid on more than 1,000 nights of accommodation in 2016 through its network of 60 volunteer host households. Other funders included Francis C Scott charitable Trust, Big Lottery Fund, Cumbria County Council, Sir John Fisher Foundation and the Community Foundation.
Bishop of Jarrow Mark Bryant, who is himself a Trustee of Depaul UK and is supporting and attending Cathedral Sleepout 2017, said: “This is a fantastic event which makes a very valuable contribution to the vital work of our region’s Nightstop service which provides a bed for the night for local homeless people.
“Sleeping out for a night in Durham Cathedral is a wonderful and memorable experience. I would urge everyone to consider taking part.”
Nightstop North East & Cumbria Manager Kester Young said: “Without the backing from the public for this annual sleepout, we would not be able to provide the help for people facing homelessness in the region that we do.
“Every night, around 40 people in the North East & Cumbria find themselves with nowhere to stay. Many more are vulnerable, sofa surfing or sleeping in unsafe places. We are inviting members of the public in the North East to give up the comfort of their beds to join community groups, churches and individuals for this special night at Durham Cathedral on 13 October.”
Nightstop UK’s head Nicola Harwood, who will be speaking at the event, said: “By sleeping out, you will be helping to provide safe and warm accommodation for people all over the North East & Cumbria. One night can change everything. Will you give up one night of comfort so that someone else won't have to sleep in an unsafe place again?”
The fundraising event comes in the same week as World Homeless Day, which is on 10 October and encourages “locals to act locally” to fight homelessness around the globe.
Volunteers for Cathedral Sleepout are urged to sign up now, to get their thermals on and join the fun.