St James Park Stadium is normally home to many matches and football seasons but on Friday the 18th March it was host to a group of committed supporters of local charity Julian House who slept under the stars.
The Big Exeter Sleep-Out took place for the third time, in person following last year’s move to a virtual event due to the pandemic. There were also some supporters who preferred to sleep-out at home, company premises and local parishes. The event is designed to let people see just how challenging it is not have a roof over their head and at one point temperatures dropped to just 6 degrees!
Amongst those participating were families, company teams, churches, who had come to support an organisation that helps people in situations he had previously been in. They were all grateful with the snacks provided by organisations like Tesco, Moto Services and Marks and Spencer’s.
A visit from the Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Trish Oliver motivated everyone for the night ahead as they walked around chatting to guests, thanking them for taking part and reminding them of the importance of their efforts.
Organiser Daffne Zamudio was delighted with the event– “ We are so grateful with all our supporters. The atmosphere between all was incredible, we were all united and motivated by one cause; to raise awareness and funds for Julian House and the work they do around homelessness’
So many people said how difficult it was and how they couldn’t imagine having to do it every night.”
Families and children joined the event and felt really proud of helping people who are experiencing homelessness.
The Exeter City Community Trust and the Exeter City Football Club were incredibly supportive to this cause. Will Barrett, Head of Charity Development, ECCT said:
“As a supporter owned football club, we exist for the benefit of our community both on and off the pitch. Julian House and their supporters do great work out in the community all year round and, as one of our charity partners here at Exeter City Community Trust, we are proud to play a small part in helping them to raise funds and awareness for such an important issue in our City and beyond.”
The Rapid Relief team provided a delicious breakfast on the morning of the event which all participants enjoyed thoroughly, Tim Parsons, Rapid Relief Team leader said, “Exeter RRT were very pleased to be able to support the Julian House Sleep-Out event again this year by supplying Hot drinks and Hot Breakfast rolls.
We are fully behind helping to raise awareness for this acute issue of homelessness in Exeter and Devon.
Well done to all those that braved the chilly night on the concrete, and trust that a handsome figure is raised to put towards this worthy cause. We look forward to supporting this event again next year!”
Event Sponsor, Knight Frank Partner, Louise Glanville said: “Knight Frank are proud sponsors of the Julian House sleep out 2022. This is a valuable charity that benefits lots of different causes in the city.”
The event is expected to raise over £8,000 and the organisers would like to thank everyone who helped to make it a success