Bed down in the back garden to help homeless young people in Eden’s Virtual Sleep Out

Bed down in the back garden to help homeless young people in Eden’s Virtual Sleep Out

Fundraisers are being urged to sleep out in their own garden or even on their living room floor this November to help two South West charities. The youth homelessness charity, the Amber Foundation and St Petrocs a charity in Cornwall for single homeless people across the county.

For the last six years, the Eden Project in Cornwall has hosted an annual Sleep Out outside the iconic glass Biomes, and the events have raised thousands of pounds for two homeless charities, the Amber Foundation which specialises in supporting young people and St Petrocs, a Cornish homeless charity based near the Eden Project.

Government guidance due to the pandemic means that the mass Sleep Out cannot take place at Eden this year.  Instead, The Eden Project is inviting people to join in remotely on the night, November 19, 2020.  You can sleep in a tent, a homemade den or (if you are brave enough) under the stars. We are encouraging people to take part in the event with their family, school, workplace or even a (small) group of friends – just as long as they follow the current rules on social distancing!

Organisers hope that because there is no limit on numbers, more money than ever will be raised at a time when the work of the charities are providing a lifeline to hundreds of homeless people.

Participants in the Virtual Eden Sleep Out will be able enjoy content online to entertain them and inspire their fundraising.  Among the contributors on the night will be Mimi Beard, who became homeless aged 16 before turning her life around, author of The Salt Path Raynor Winn and singer-songwriter Suzie Mac.

The Amber Foundation has been running for 25 years housing and supporting young adults grappling with a range of complex issues namely homelessness, unemployment and long term disadvantage.  The charity’s centres are in Devon, Wiltshire and Surrey but residents can come from all over the country.

Rebecca Fry, Amber’s Fundraising Manager, said: “The coronavirus pandemic, the resultant restrictions and the impact it is having on the economy means that Amber’s work has never been more needed. Troubled young people are now struggling more than ever to escape what can be a never-ending cycle of unemployment and homelessness.

“Fundraising remains central to Amber’s continued operation and has been badly affected by the pandemic. We are so pleased the Eden Project are hosting the event as it provides a wonderful opportunity for people to come together virtually and raise as much money as possible to support those most hard hit.”

St Petrocs mission is to help single homeless people in Cornwall. Communications Manager Dave Brown said: “During lockdown all our services remained fully open and operational with extended opening hours to ensure our clients could maintain social distancing.  We made sure that every person sleeping rough was able to access food, showers, PPE and accommodation

“As restrictions on our daily lives continues and the winter approaches, it is really important that we stay open and that we are able to continue to assist those who need our help.

“The help of the Cornish community, including events such as the Eden Sleep Out, enables us to continue this important work to support people who would otherwise be homeless. We wish to thank Eden for their continued support of this work at this challenging time.”

Dan James, Eden Project Development Director, said that due to social distancing, Eden and its fellow charities had to think creatively about how to deliver this year’s Sleep Out and all were determined to raise as much money as possible through the remote event.

He said: “As we head towards an uncertain winter, the work of charities like Amber in alleviating the plight of homeless people has never been more needed. Eden continues to be proud to support them. We hope that many more people will sign up for the seventh annual Sleep Out and join us in spirit by bedding down wherever they can safely do so. They can be sure that whatever money they raise will make a difference.”

To join in, participants pay an individual registration fee of £25 or a family registration fee of £60 and then raise as much as they can for the two charities.

To sign up for this year’s Sleep Out, go to: www.edenproject.com/sleepout