On the night of Friday 23rd March 2018, rather than sleeping in my own bed, I slept out on the street in the middle of Blackpool with 250 other people to raise money for Streetlife, as part of the 2018 BIG Sleepout. It was an uncomfortable experience as it rained for much of the night, but due to the brilliant atmosphere and being with so many other caring and compassionate people it was also inspiring!
I did the BIG Sleepout for three reasons:
- The first being my own personal gratitude to the role that Streetlife played in my own life! 23 years ago, I started volunteering for Streetlife working in their night shelter; it changed my life, as for the first time I learnt so much about the harshness of life for young people in our town who are homeless. I will never forget that volunteer experience as it helped me decide what I wanted to do in life. I started off very nervously and unsure, but with the brilliant support from Jane Hugo (who is still there as Streetlife’s Chief Executive), I believe I flourished in the role and really grew and developed as a person. It also helped me to decide that what I wanted to do in my life which was to help others in need.
- Second, it’s sad to say that 23 years later the work of Streetlife is needed more than ever as we still have the modern day scandal of young people homeless on our streets in Blackpool. If they don’t spend the night in the shelter, it frightens me to think where they could end up!
- Third, it’s so vital that people come together in Blackpool to make life better for all people in our local community. As Empowerment’s CEO, I strive to support the work of other charities, because what they do is just as important as the work that Empowerment does. We all have a role to play, but we will only change things if we’re prepared to put aside our petty differences, stop being unnecessarily competitive and come to together to make that difference!
It’s not too late to sponsor me, if you wish to do please click on the link here: