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HARP, Southend’s homeless charity, is inviting families and community groups to mark World Homeless Day by taking part in The Really Big South Essex Sleep Out.
This annual fundraising event takes place on or around the closest Saturday to World Homeless Day, which this year falls on Thursday 10th October. HARP is encouraging local families and community groups to sign up to host their own Sleep Out on or around Saturday 12th October, to raise vital funds and awareness of homelessness in the area.
Dina Jobson, Fundraising Manager at HARP, said: “The Really Big South Essex Sleep Out is a great way to engage children with local issues and teach them not just about compassion for others, but also about the challenges that local homeless people face and how communities can work together to help those most in need.”
She continued: “Rough sleeping is the most visible, emotive, and sometimes controversial side of homelessness, but HARP is committed to helping people to avoid ending up on the streets in the first place, as well as supporting those who are already sleeping rough. Events like The Big South Essex Sleep Out provide vital funds for this work.”
Every year HARP helps over 1,000 people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, including breakfasts for rough sleepers, supported accommodation for over 200 people, and bespoke advice and support on individual housing situations.
This year, The Really Big South Essex Sleep Out, is sponsored by Adventure Island. Philip Miller MBE whose family has owned Southend’s fun park for over 40 years, said: “As a local business owner, our family has seen first-hand the impact of homelessness on Southend and its residents. Everyone deserves to have a roof over their heads and it’s an honour to be able to play our part by supporting The Really Big South Essex Sleep Out. We hope plenty of our customers and staff will take part and sleep out so that others don’t have to.”
Every penny raised makes a difference. For example, £10 could provide a warm meal and help cover the cost of a two night stay at our emergency night shelter, £20 could help give somebody the chance to talk through their problems with a professional support worker, and £45 could help provide a Home Starter Pack to help a local homeless person get back on their feet and rebuild their lives. For every Sleep Out that raises £50 or more, the organiser will get a free t-shirt and a free pack of Lego.
If you would like to Sleep Out to support local homeless people visit www.essexsleepout.org