Sleep rough in Doncaster for one night for charity

Karina and Ross Clark at last year's Big Sleepout for SAFE@LAST, a charity which supports young people who have run away from home.
Karina and Ross Clark at last year's Big Sleepout for SAFE@LAST, a charity which supports young people who have run away from home.
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Local children and young people’s charity Safe@Last is calling for the people of Doncaster to register for The Big Sleepout and sleep rough for one night so young runaways don’t have to.

The Big Sleepout event will return to Lakeside Village Outlet Shopping for the fourth year on September 27.

The event aims to give participants an insight into what it could be like for the many thousands of young runaways who find themselves sleeping rough. T

Those taking part have to forgo all comforts for the night as they are only allowed basic items to keep warm such as a sleeping bag and cardboard box.

Over 70 supporters slept rough in 2012 to raise funds and awareness to support the estimated 4,000 children and young people in South Yorkshire that run away from home each year.

This year the charity hopes to have more people than ever before taking part and is urging those who haven’t already to sign up.

Doncaster Free Press chief reporter Darren Burke is among those who have signed up for this year’s event.

Tracy Haycox, Safe@Last director of Children and Young People’s Services said “We’re pleased to be returning to Lakeside Village for the Big Sleepout which is a very important event in our calendar, both in terms of fundraising and awareness raising.

“It’s an opportunity for our supporters to experience just a flavour of the feelings and emotions a young runaway may face.

“We know that running away is often a symptom of another problem in a young person’s life and we offer a range of services include a young person’s helpline where they can turn for information, advice and guidance.” Cheryl Sadler, Centre Manager at Lakeside Village said: “We are proud to be able to offer our centre as a venue once again for The Big Sleepout and show our continued support.

“Over the past few years, it’s proven a great success in raising funds for such a worthy cause and we hope that we see even more people coming along to this year’s event to help smash last year’s total!”

For the seventh year, Big Sleepout events will take place across all four boroughs in South Yorkshire where Safe@Last works.

In addition to the event in Doncaster Big Sleepouts will be taking place in Rotherham, Barnsley and Sheffield too.

People wishing to sign up for the event can do so by contacting Safe@Last on 01909 566977 or visiting www.thebigsleepout.co.uk.

Since the first Big Sleepout in 2007, over 1,000 people have taken part and slept rough for one night, raising over £70,000 in the last five years.