BIG Brum SleepOut is a sponsored challenge where your group is given a ration of cardboard and protective sheeting then as a group you need to build your dwelling(s) to sleep in outside overnight, whilst raising money in sponsorship from everyone you know! The event takes place in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral with Cardboard from Schumacher (formally Jaffabox) based in Solihull, with both sponsors generously donating free of charge, we are hugely grateful to them, and the others businesses that supported this event (Speedy Hire, GL events, Schumacher, Langar Aid, Greggs foundation), for keeping our costs down so that the money you raise goes towards our services helping vulnerable young people across the West Midlands and preventing youth homelessness.
BIG Brum SleepOut 2019 which this year took place on Friday 29th November was well supported with 520 people taking part despite a weather forecast of -2 overnight (with windchill -9). Fortunately most people were well prepared with hats, gloves, thermals, outdoor sleeping bags and plenty of layers, plus the windchill wasn’t as bad as predicted.
It pays to plan well the building of your dwelling as not only will it have a better chance of staying up overnight but it has a better chance of winning our competition for the ‘best dwelling’. We had some wonderfully creative and impressive structures this year, making it a tough judging decision for our Business and Communities Execs (Sian, Luke and Azim), but it was St Joseph (part of Berkeley Homes) who were crowned the eventual overall winners of the main competition with Roy Birch who built the amazing Cathedral shelter in second, and HMRC with their Hawaii themed shelter and outfits in third, whilst Saltley Academy secured the School’s cup.
As well as Saltley Academy we had several other schools take part including St Augustine’s in Redditch, and Universities including University College Birmingham. As well as St Joseph’s other companies that took part included Argent LLP, Gowling WLG, Secure Bank Trust, Arcadis, Kalamazoo IT, Crowd Property, Glancy Nicholls Architects, Gallaghers Insurance and Hays amongst others. We also had a rugby club take part, Aston Old Edwardians and West Midlands Fire Service brass band attended and played quite a repertoire of Festive tunes outside the Cathedral keeping everyone’s spirits high.
Despite the buzz of BIG Brum SleepOut it is always a humbling experience for those taking part with many taking to social media to share their thoughts on what it must be like to do it for real, night after night, without the security and fenced site, toilets, refreshments and breakfast that is provided, and without being able to go home to a warm shower and proper bed at the end of it.
Amy from Kidslingo.co.uk who shared a photo of the frost on her sleeping bad on Instagram said: “We were only there overnight, and are now back in our warm homes. Some have to do this every night, and not as part of an organised event. It’s their freezing, dangerous reality.”
As always this event is all about preventing this being a reality for more young people. Our street outreach team are working hard in partnership with the Council and other local organisations to ensure young people are picked up off the streets as soon as possible, but if you ever see anyone bedding down anywhere nationwide please contact Streetlink who will best know which agency to refer onto in that area.
Photos and Film
Please find photos from the night below. Huge thanks to professional photographer Kris Askey for these, especially his very quick turnaround! Other than personal use, if you use his photos anywhere online or in any publication please credit Kris.
You can flick through the album below or to download photos please visit Flickr.
A variety of local press outlets also attended on the night and Ben Coleman from Candy Apple Grove was also making a film for us which once ready will be posted to our website and social media channels. Huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this!
Sending your sponsorship money in to us
Whilst there is no absolute cut off, please do try and send your money in as soon as possible and before 31st March 2020. See the Donate page and ‘ways to donate online’ or ‘other ways to donate’ sections for how to do this. Any problems or other questions please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and we hope to see plenty of you again next year!
St Basils Fundraising team