Sleepout turns spotlight on homelessness

3 May 2018

A 25-strong team from CNG has joined forces with SASH – an organisation dedicated to preventing youth homelessness – to sleepout and highlight a little-known North Yorkshire issue.

Harrogate is the second busiest area for SASH in North Yorkshire after Scarborough, accounting for 21 per cent of all the referrals it received to its emergency service last year. In 2017 the charity offered 244 nights of emergency accommodation to young people in Harrogate and yet awareness of the problem remains very low.

So we volunteered to shed light on Harrogate’s homelessness problem by putting together a team to sleepout at the CNG Stadium. Armed only with a sleeping bag and cardboard to bunk down with, the idea being the event provides a small but realistic glimpse into the conditions that could be faced by many local young people – while helping to raise funds.

Ruth Fawcett, Business Development Manager for SASH said: “We want to say a huge thank you to everyone at CNG who helped make this happen, and of course to Harrogate Town AFC for the use of the venue.

“The event gave participants the chance to feel what it must be like to have to sleep rough, and it was heartening to hear that they were glad to have taken part despite the cold and lack of sleep! We are very grateful to them for giving up a good night’s sleep to help ensure that young people in our communities do not end up on the street when they become homeless.”

Jacqui Hall said: “Many at CNG live and work in Harrogate, yet we were not aware of how busy SASH were having to work to help young people stay off our local streets. With many people in the 16-25 age bracket within our team, it really hit home how it could easily be any of us.

“The sleepout was a huge success in the sense that those who took part felt very humbled by the experience and even more determined to support the great work of SASH. We will be fundraising until May to ensure we can help as much as possible.”

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