Here’s why veteran father and daughter duo are taking on the Big Bath Sleep-Out: At Home and encouraging you to join too

8-year-old Florence Hammond and her father, Roger, have taken the plunge to ‘sleep-out’ out’ in their garden on Friday 5th March as part of the Julian House Big Bath Sleep-Out: At Home.

The duo are getting sponsored to sleep out for one night in their garden with just a sleeping bag and cardboard. It will see them raising vital funds and awareness to help people experiencing homelessness across Bath and the South West. With a month to go, they have already smashed their £200 fundraising target, with a current total of £305.

While the Julian House Big Bath Sleep-Out usually takes place every year in Alice Park, this year, due to COVID, the event has been adapted to be ‘at home.’ The charity is challenging families like Florence’s and households to join them in sleeping out in their garden or for those without a garden, an uncomfortable place inside to raise much-needed funds to help the people in its Manvers Street Hostel and other services at this crucial time. A time which sees the pandemic and plunging winter temperatures becoming a threat to life as well as a national lockdown evoking further feelings of isolation and desolation for most men and women in the charity’s services.

For Flo and her father this isn’t the first they’ve taken on the Big Bath Sleep-Out, having participated in 2018. When asked why they wanted to take part again, Roger said: “We both agree that the situation with homelessness, not just in Bath, is only getting worse. We think that nobody should have to suffer through this in a modern humane society and that’s what encouraged us to help.

I would recommend anyone who wants to step outside their comfort zone to have a go at this. It’s also a great way to spend an evening with family. Spending the night out gives me and Flo the opportunity to spend some good one on one time together, without the usual interruptions of the TV. I also remember having a really good feeling after raising money last time.”

Senior Community and Events Fundraiser, Jessica Gay added: “With the event being at home and in the garden, participants will not only be braving the elements but will also have the added challenge of resisting their warm beds.

However, this makes the event even more poignant as the people we support and who are sleeping on the streets do not have this option.

While we can’t be together physically this year, we can virtually. That’s why we’re hosting a series of optional live streamed events on the night, which will include talks, music and mindfulness sessions, so we can be together and share our own ‘sleep-out’ experience with each other.”

Sign up before the 18th February to receive your special Sleep-Out pack in the post. To find out more about the event and to join Julian House, Flo and Roger, head to www.bigbathsleepout.co.uk – Sign up today and help make a difference.