While most of Bath was sleeping during Friday night, 160 brave members of the public gave up the comfort and warmth of their own bed as they spent the night in Alice Park with just sleeping bags and cardboard. They were taking part in the Big Bath Sleep-Out raising much needed funds and awareness for homeless charity Julian House.
The idea around the event is to give participants some idea of what it is like to sleep out for just ONE cold night whilst supporting Julian House run its increasing number of various homeless projects.
Organiser Cathy Adcock is delighted that so many people took part in the event. “It was great to see so many people forego their normal creature comforts and warm homes for the night. Obviously sleeping out for one night doesn’t come close to the realities of homelessness. It does however give people the chance to empathise with those who are forced to sleep rough every night. What started out as a warm and, much appreciated, sunny day soon turned into a cool evening and then a much colder night. Whilst it didn’t rain, a lot of people were surprised at just how cold it got in the early hours. Obviously most rough sleepers have to endure much tougher conditions and not just for one night.”
The Mayor of Bath (Councillor Cherry Beath) attended the evening to show her support for those taking part and for Julian House, whose ages ranged from 8-80 years old! Corporate teams taking part included Curo and Wood For Trees who slept in the park alongside families, friends and organisations including Blaze Explorers, 51st Ascensions Scouts, Bath Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Welton Baptist Church and Peasedown St John Methodists.
Julian House now operates 20 projects across Bath including which not only treat the symptoms of homelessness but also the underlying issues which drive men and women into this desperate situation. These include supported housing for men and women with specific needs ink mental health issues, older clients, ex-offenders and women and their children who are fleeing domestic violence. We are really grateful to everyone who took part and raised sponsorship to help fund these vital projects. Alice Park Café continued their support by taking apart and then cooking very welcomed bacon rolls for the participants in the early hours of the morning.