Sheffield homeless charity sleep out raises more than £10,000

Sixty people slept on the streets of Sheffield for a night to raise more than £10,000 for a Sheffield youth homeless charity.

Friday, 18th November 2016, 8:39 am
Updated Friday, 18th November 2016, 11:22 am
Sleepers prepare to brave the cold and rain. Photo: Roundabout

Supporters of the charity were sponsored to sleep outside in the cold for just one night to prevent it from becoming a reality for vulnerable young people in Sheffield.

Roundabout has been working with young people aged 16 to 24 for nearly 40 years, providing them with shelter, support and life skills.

Paulette Edwards and Jon McClure with Ronnie the Roundabout mascot. Photo: Roundabout

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Through a variety of services, the charity aims to support and empower young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to recognise, develop and take advantage of the choices open to them.

More than 60 of the charity’s supporters - including a few famous faces - attended the fifth sleep out event at the start of the month.

One celebrity guest swapping his bed for a sleeping bag for the night was Jon McClure, front man of the Sheffield band Reverend and the Makers.

Jon became aware of the issue of homelessness in Sheffield when he took part in Vendors Week earlier this year - going undercover to sell the Big Issue magazine.

Roundabout's Deputy CEO, Tracey Jackson. Photo: Roundabout

Taking part in the sleep out gave insight into what it could be like sleeping outdoors with nowhere safe to go.

The following day, Jon said on Twitter: “Slept rough for one night and feel like I’ve been 12 rounds with Tyson. Huge respect Roundabout and Sheff's homeless community."

Cabinet Member for Housing at Sheffield City Council Jayne Dunn also took part in the sleep out.

In the evening, the sleepers were able to play board games, take part in a quiz and enjoy food.

Paulette Edwards and Jon McClure with Ronnie the Roundabout mascot. Photo: Roundabout

They also heard from Zina, who was homeless a few years ago and lived in the Roundabout hostel.

She is now living independently and is a Peer Educator with Roundabout, going into schools to speak to young people about her experience and inform them of the help that is available.

Participants encouraged friends, family and colleagues to sponsor them to ‘rough it’ for one night, which contributed to the fundraising total of £10,031.69.

Ben Keegan, Roundabout’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our sleep outs are our flagship event."

Roundabout's Deputy CEO, Tracey Jackson. Photo: Roundabout

“Not only do they give a small insight into the struggles faced by many young people, but they also help us to raise vital funds.

"The events give a small insight to what the reality could be for young people without Roundabout. The funds raised by the event make it possible for us to continue to support some of Sheffield’s most vulnerable young people.

He added: “We’re incredibly grateful to all those who came along and helped make the event such a huge success.”