Julian House’s popular Big Bath Sleep-Out had a twist this year. Due to COVID restrictions, instead of taking place in Alice Park as it had done for the past 11 years, participants were encouraged to sleep out at home and in their gardens on Friday 5th March.
Despite the sub-zero temperatures, the event saw hundreds of families and households ditching their beds for one night to help raise much-needed funds and awareness for Julian House and the men and women the charity supports. Equipped with just sleeping bags, cardboard and plastic sheeting, 330 people braved the cold to help those forced to do it every night.
Organiser Jessica Gay is delighted that so many people took part in the event, despite the charity having to change the event logistics.
“We are so pleased that so many people and young children with their families were willing to forego their normal creature comforts and warm beds for the night. Obviously sleeping out for one night does not 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, as well as start a conversation about homelessness, and those that took part certainly did just that.
We hosted a livestream of events on the night, and we were delighted to see lots of supporters sharing pictures of themselves sleeping out on social media. Whilst we were not together physically, I think there was a real sense of comradery thanks to the great spirit of our participants.
So far the sponsorship raised is running close to £60,000 which is just outstanding – and hopefully, there will be more donations coming throughout March. It would be fantastic if the event could meet last year’s total of £64,000. In the uncertain economic times ahead, these funds will be vital in helping us provide our life-saving services. I encourage you to watch back the livestream here to listen to the stories of some of the individuals we have helped. Without events like these and the help of our supporters, we really could not provide our essential life-saving services.
Thank you again to everyone who took part and raised sponsorship, to those who donated, and to everyone who made the livestream possible. Special thanks to Bowline, Corporate Events, to Sue Lawrence, Helen Brian, musician Worried about Mike, Yoga Dad, Bath Mindfulness, our Patron Dr Phil Hammond and Minding Minds Director Chris Stewart for all donating their time to the programme.”
If you were not able to attend, but would like to support the event, please do so here.