Back in the Summer Adrian Woolford from Coventry Bid was contacted by St Basil’s a local homeless charity to ask if he would put a team together to take part in their annual sleep out in the old Cathedral ruins. Adrian put a call out on Twitter and the #covrocks team was formed.
We all signed up months ago I don’t think we had all thought about the challenge that was head of us. As the weeks went by and the sponsorship started rolling in it began to get real!
St Basil’s works with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, helping over 5000 young people per year across the West Midlands region with specific services in Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, the Wyre Forest and Coventry.
In Coventry the charity doesn’t currently have its own dedicated accommodation so it is hoped through fundraising events like the sleep out that they will raise enough funds to open accommodation in the city in the future.
On the night we came together at about 6.30pm and began to build our dwellings. The charity dished our lots of plastic sheeting and cardboard boxes, but one member of our team Kate Hunter arrived very prepared with her own Bear Cleaning Cave.
Our resident face painter Christine Cooper cracked open the face glitter and we felt very lucky that the weather was so mild. It wasn’t long before we were treated to some delights from Langar Aid who work tirelessly to feed the homeless within the city.
After a heart-warming talk from the people of St Basil’s and a user of their services it was time to get tucked up for the night. Although it wasn't a comfortable night’s sleep we did manage to grab a few hours before the sunrise at 5am and the big clean up.
In total we raised a massive £3,000 for St Basil’s and it was a very humbling experience which the team will remember for a long time to come.