PEOPLE can get a taste of what life is like for those sleeping rough when Worthing Churches Homeless Projects (WCHP) holds its annual sponsored sleep out on Saturday, January 25.
The fundraising event will take place in the playground of Broadwater C of E School in Rectory Gardens, Worthing, and aims to give people an idea of what it might be like to be homeless.
A spokesman for WCHP said: “People from the local area need help finding accommodation, food and warmth and then support finding employment, a meaningful use of time as well as help accessing the right services to manage addiction and support their physical and mental health.
“The event organisers relish the opportunity to engage with those taking part and talk about what homelessness really means.
According to the charity, many homeless people struggle to sleep during the night because of sirens, birds, or dogs barking.
“The noises and the feelings of loneliness during the night are things many people say they had not considered before,” a spokesman said.
“Previous participants have commented that the night has been a really positive experience for them, to know how cold and wet it can be even with layers of bedding and plastic sheeting and this is without the fear of being in a public space and the need to protect their belongings.”
Hot food will be available from 7.30pm while people set up their shelters and toilet facilities will be available throughout the night.
Anyone wishing to take part in the sponsored sleep out and help raise funds for the work of WCHP can download a registration form from www.wchp.org.uk or for further details can email firstname.lastname@example.org
There are 49 people taking part in the event but there is still plenty of space for people more to get involved.
Northbrook College staff and students have helped raise more than £3,500 for WCHP after it was nominated as charity of the year 2013.
The College supported the Charity through in a number of ways, including cake sales, food festivals, bric-a-brac sale, business events and sleep-outs among others.
Northbrook Principal Sue Dare said: “Northbrook College chose Worthing Churches Homeless Project for 2013 as staff and students were aware of the challenges some individuals and families in our community have in these difficult days.
“Our staff wanted to contribute, whether by providing coffee, tea and sugar, raising money by sleeping out on one of the wettest nights of the year - quite an experience as I found myself - or by taking part in a team assault course on one of the coldest and muddiest days of the year, while our students put on hospitality events, ran cake stalls and devised business challenges to raise money.
“This was a whole college effort which involved all our campuses and I am proud of all those who contributed so readily.”
Worthing Churches Homeless Projects was started in 1991 by four Christians who took soup and sleeping bags to homeless people on the seafront.
Today the charity has 56 staff members and more than 200 volunteers.