St Albans Sleepout brings crowds to Oaklands College for third successive year
The annual St Albans Sleepout once again arrived at Oaklands College, with hundreds of guests battling the elements to raise awareness for homelessness and addiction within the area.
The annual St Albans Sleepout once again took place at Oaklands College, with hundreds of guests battling the elements to raise awareness for homelessness and addiction within the area.
Hundreds of participants took part in the event hosted by Herts Young Homeless (HYH), which consisted of building makeshift shelters out of recycled cardboard, listening to a guest speaker who has experienced homelessness, a silent disco and live performances from a Music student at Oaklands College.
In attendance and participating with the rough sleepers was the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire; Sarah Beazley.
Sarah said: “The Sleepout has been an annual event in St Albans for a few years now, and Oaklands College were wonderful and supportive hosts again this year. There was good spirit and creative cardboard construction, and fortunately for us, no rain!
The 5 charities who organise the Sleepout work together to tackle local homelessness in different ways – by providing mediation and other services to young people at risk of homelessness, a day centre and night shelter services, support for the other challenges that homeless people are often facing such as addiction, and by providing skills and employment opportunities within a residential community.
Of course they could not do their vital work without the support of those who fund raise on their behalf, and those who joined the Sleepout not only did that, but went one step further to raise awareness, experiencing for themselves what it is like to have to sleep outside with no home to go to. With the number of homeless people in Hertfordshire on the increase, I applaud them for their efforts in highlighting this sad and difficult issue and helping those who work to end homelessness.”
Caroline Neill, Fundraising and Communications Manager at Herts Young Homeless said: “We would like to say a huge thanks to all the 120 amazing sleepers who took part in the St Albans Sleepout, kindly hosted at Oaklands College on Fri 6 December. We were so lucky to have dry weather, fantastic community spirit and great supporters.
Thank you to everyone who donated or volunteered to help us. We were delighted to have musical performances and an art workshop arranged by St Albans Arts and both the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire and the Mayor of St Albans present at the event. The funds raised, currently around £30,000, will benefit local homeless charities: Centre 33, Emmaus, Herts Young Homeless, The Living Room and Open Door.”