Suppoters bed down outside in Barnsley and Rotherham for children’s charity

Kat McFadzean, Karen Ellery and Tim Fish took part in the Barnsley Big Sleepout in aid of children's charity Safe@Last.
Kat McFadzean, Karen Ellery and Tim Fish took part in the Barnsley Big Sleepout in aid of children's charity Safe@Last.
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More than 100 people layered up for outdoor sleepover events in aid of youngsters who run away from home in South Yorkshire.

The Big Sleepouts were held by children’s charity Safe@Last at Rotherham’s Parkgate shopping centre and at Voluntary Action Barnsley.

Sleepers of all ages, including individuals, couples, scouts groups and families, took part in the events to raise funds to support the estimated 4,000 children and young people in South Yorkshire who run away from home each year.

The overnight challenge aims to give supporters a taste of what it might be like for young runaways who feel they have no choice but to sleep rough.

Gareth Carson, who slept rough at the Rotherham Big Sleepout, said: “I’ve taken part in these events in the past and this one was particularly hard for me.

“It rained all night and you couldn’t escape the cold.

“It really makes you think about the harsh conditions that young people have to suffer when they sleep rough, before you even begin to think about the dangers they’re at risk of facing.”

Safe@Last offers support to children who have run away from home or been thrown out, by providing advice and support.

Carolyn Ellis, communications officer at Voluntary Action Barnsley, said: “It’s great to work with an organisation that supports young people and families living in Barnsley.”