Friday was a struggle for Mark, Rob, Sophia and I after spending a damp, noisy, uncomfortable night sleeping on the floor of the former Engine Room at London Road Fire Station in Manchester as part of Centrepoint’s Sleep Out fundraising event. Awoken before 6am by an eager Sleepouter’s alarm, there was no chance of (or desire for) a lie-in, as everyone in the room crackled around in their paper sleeping bag covers and the last of the snoring chorus stirred. Waking in the dark, it felt like we had only fallen to sleep half an hour ago – I checked the sleep tracker on my phone – four minutes of deep sleep, enough to get me through finishing that feasibility study today?!
As we stuffed our sleeping bags away and traipsed bleary-eyed in the drizzle across the city to our warm, dry studio, our experience was put into perspective as we noticed the many homeless people we walked past. They had slept out in the rain last night, and possibly for many months of nights, whilst we had been undercover and watched over by a security guard. Centrepoint had also made sure we were well fed, entertained and merry ahead of our night sleeping on the stone floor.
Needless to say, some celebration was justified, as by participating in the event, all involved managed to raise £50k to help Centrepoint support homeless young people and keep them off the streets. Team LB has managed to raise over £1.8k so far, so thank you all so much for your generosity. To understand the impact of this fundraising, £18 can give a young person a safe roof over their head for a night and £350 can fund 14 hours of counselling for a young person in crisis - meaning our donation will make a huge difference to many.
For more about the great work Centrepoint are doing to help end youth homelessness in the UK, click here. There is also still time to donate via our fundraising page, and we will be printing more Manchester illustration postcards due to high demand!