Manchester fundraisers battle ‘awful conditions’ and sleep rough to raise £27,000 for homeless charity

By Tim Hyde

Brave fund raisers battled ‘absolutely awful’ conditions at Manchester Cathedral’s annual Sleepout to raise cash for homeless charity the Booth Centre

The 166 dedicated participants fought against the elements all night experiencing the appalling weather conditions that can come with life on the street.

Despite the appalling conditions the Sleepout managed to raise £27,000, which is £5,000 more than the previous year despite less people lasting the whole night.

Martin Taylor, 56, a spokesman from the Cathedral, said: “The weather conditions were absolutely awful, it was pouring down non-stop from nine o’clock onwards.

“Some people had to come inside because they were wet through and had to put their clothes in the tumble-dryer.

“It is awful people have to spend most nights like that.”

To start the Sleepout the Cathedral opera group Streetwise performed a mini concert singing an array of hymns to raise spirits for the long night ahead.

However, due to the appalling weather conditions many of the people attempting to sleep on the street had to retire inside otherwise they were at risk of harming themselves.

After facing what the element threw at them fund raisers were shocked at how homeless people are able to deal with similar conditions on a nightly basis.

Ryan Deane said: “Never judge a person before you’ve spent a night in their shoes.”

Sophie Dulson ‏commented on Twitter: “Great location for the Manchester Sleepout! #McrSleepout @BoothCentre.”

Those that took part were given soup, rolls and sandwiches in the morning before they retiring home to much warmer surroundings in order to recover from one night on the street.  

All of the funds raised from sponsorship will help the Booth Centre – one of the country’s leading day centres for homeless people – move to their new home at Edward Holt House.

The new centre will have enough space to accommodate classes for literacy and numeracy as well as computer suites that can help homeless people find homes and employment.

The money raised will also help to provide breakfast and lunch for up to 150 people and, in addition, help build a domestic kitchen to train people in catering.

For all their hard-wok the Booth Centre was recently awarded Champion Status by the Department of Communities and Local Government for their work helping those living on the streets. 

Image courtesy of Edwin 11, with thanks

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