Children must be 12 or over to take part in the BIG SleepOut we organise.
However, if you have young children or are a teacher at a primary school or run Scouts or Brownies groups, you might want to organise your own SleepOut (or similar event inside - see below pictured). Even if you teach or facilitate a group of older children or teenagers, it may be more convenient and easier to do your own, rather than try and keep track of young people at an event as large and busy as our BIG SleepOut.
Every year local scouts groups, brownies, schools and colleges do just that to help raise money to ensure children and young people in the locality who are the same age or not much older than those taking part, can get the help they need.
If you organise your own event, you could still build cardboard dwellings or sleep in boxes but you could plan some other activities such as a quiz/ scavenger hunt or combine it with songs around the campfire. Organising your own Sleepout or SleepIn can still help raise money and awareness and will still be thought-provoking for those taking part but will be a lot more suitable for young children to take part in.
Many such local groups have organised their own events including recently Solihull 6th Form College (pictured above), Sandwell Academy, 1st Bournville Cubs, St Mary's Catholic Primary School Harborne (pictured below), Oundle School and University of Birmingham.
Some local businesses and organisations eg. Chiltern Railways have also organised their own SleepOut for their staff to take part in if they were unable to make our BIG SleepOut event or wanted to choose a different venue.
Here are some TIPS on how to run your own Satellite SleepOut event in aid of St Basils.
Venue: This is the most important element of the event. It must be big enough to sleep the amount of people that are attending. Ideally it should have a covered area or hall where the sleepers can go if the weather is particularly bad.
Make sure you have full permission from the owners of the venue to do this. Be mindful of noise disturbance from this event to the local environment.
Make sure you have toilet access thoughout the night and facilities where you can prepare hot food and drinks.
Ideally it will have one entrance/exit, which makes securing the site easier and checking-in attendees upon arrival. Have volunteers to marshal access to your event so you know who's there and make a list of who should be coming.
Entertainment: You can play board games, have a quiz, have a competition for the best made home for the night, invite a band along to play live music, have a pyjama party, show films, the possibilities are endless!
Food & Drink: Estimate how may people will be attending, including marshal volunteers and then buy or ask for donations for your food and drink, like bacon sandwiches, veggie burgers, tomato soup, tea and coffee. The Big SleepOut sets up a small cnateen inside and charges but you may wish to have this on offer for free. Breakfast is toast, tea and coffee and is given free as a reward to completing the challenge.
Sleeping Material: You could provide your sleepers with a large cardboard box and a large plastic bag each, or get your participants to bring their own material with them, like more cardboard, large tarpaulin sheets, blankets, outside sleeping bags, lots of warm layers of clothing, water proof clothing. Don’t forget, if you are asking people to sleep outside, that’s a challenge at any time of the year and they must all be aware of this!
Cleaning: You will need volunteers to clear up in the morning after the event. Figure out how you are going to get the rubbish sorted.
Promotion: You can utilise social media channels to make people aware of your event (just make sure you have security on the night and it has been clear that people needed to register in advance). And/ or you can make posters/ fliers and email people. Make sure the details of the event are clearly stated on your marketing material.
NB: Please don't call your event 'the BIG SleepOut' as that is the name of our SleepOut and will confuse people. Please make it clear as well that you are holding your event 'in aid of St Basils'.
Documenting your event: Please take photos of the event ensuring those taking part have given their permission. We will put them on our St Basils website and feature them in our Supporter Enewsletter.
Sponsorship: This event is designed to raise money. We can supply you with all the supporting material you need to make this event a success and raise the maximum amount for our charity.
For more ideas, checklists/ templates, T-shirts, buckets, St Basils literature or for further advice on organising your own event for St Basils please contact the fundraising team or phone Steve Rainbow on 0121 772 9614.