It was a good turn out for our first ever Coventry SleepOut on 23rd October 2015! Forty-nine people took part, volunteering to sleep outside overnight within the walls and ruins of Coventry's old Cathedral which once it was time for lights out provided an extremely atmospheric venue to bed down in.
St Basils has had services in Coventry since December 2013, aiming to prevent youth homelessness with support offered to young people in their own homes, as well as assessment and referrals to accommodation for those who have become homeless. St Basils staff then provide further 'floating support' to these young people whereever they are living. Our Coventry staff are based at Rose Community Centre on Hope Street, Coventry and provide extra services to young people on site such as computers so we can support them to search for jobs. All the money raised from our Coventry SleepOut will go towards supporting these services and helping young people in Coventry.
Band 'Little Liam' played a set at the event and several groups and companies created entries for the Creative Cardboard Competition held at every St Basils BIG SleepOut. BIG congratualtions to Tina Costello from Heart of England who created an entry very much worthy of our Hall of Fame.
Staff from several Coventry based offices took part including Fine&Country, BHSF and Albert Street. Two Coventry Councillors (pictured) Cllr Ed Ruane and Cllr Peter Male also toughed it out at the event.
Hannah Durnham from BHSF said:
"It was a very fun event with a lovely friendly atmosphere and entertainment to distract you from the cold! I'd definitely recommend it as a way to raise money for a worthy cause and a real eye opener. I first came across St Basils through my employer's relationship with them but hearing so many positive stories from St Basils residents and experiencing just a taste of the conditions they might have to endure without the charity, has fostered a personal interest in supporting St Basils. My personal sponsorship target for this event was £150 and I've raised £248 so far."
Tina Costello, from Heart of England Community Foundation (pictured here with her winning Creative Cardboard Competition entry) said after the event:
"I decided to do the Sleep Out in Coventry to raise the awareness and profile of St Basils work in Coventry and to undertake a personal fund raising challenge for a cause close to my heart. But was it what I was expecting? No absolutely not! In the early hours of the morning when sleep didn’t prevail it gave me time to reflect on what it would be like to have nowhere to go, no support network or someone to tell me it would all be ok and that I imagine is what so many of the young people supported by St Basils feel before intervention. I did find it very challenging but left me with no doubt that I would do it again in 2016!"
St Basils Coventry SleepOut is a new event. We are also planning to hold our second Solihull SleepOut in March 2016. However you can still register for our largest SleepOut event of the year, the 2015 BIG SleepOut, which raises money supporting our services in all the locations we work in, including Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell, Walsall, Coventry, Worcestershire and the Wyre Forest.