Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Are sponsored sleep outs a good way of highlighting homelessness?

There seems to be a growing trend by some homelessness agencies to raise funds and highlight the issues of homelessness by organising sponsored sleep outs. Most recently the new president of the YMCA, Sir Richard Dannant, slept out along with Norfolk’s High Sheriff Charles Barratt and Judge Phillip Curl. Click here for link and short video 
While I commend those who try to accurately experience a night on the streets, I feel despair when I hear about those who turn a sponsored sleep out into some kind of camping holiday, all night street party and publicity stunt. For people that have to sleep rough this kind of fund-raising may be seen as patronising and very disrespectful.
 It seems that fund-raising teams are running out of ideas. Maybe we (the readers of The Spike) should help them out with a few suggestions, that would be less disrespectful to rough sleepers and those that sleep out in the cold every night.


  1. As petrasalva put it.who is Outreach Services Mansger for thames Reach in east london..commenting on a sleep out held at Spitalfields " Sleeping Rough is a serious matter, whos interest does this serve?
    from bob a member of the general public,with experiance of homelessness
    ps petrasalva can be found on her twitter account,where comments were drawn from

  2. I do not understand the idea of sleepinig out for sponsorship, it seems like lazy fundraising.
    Those taking part can never take it seriously if they know they can go home in the morning, get a hot shower and cook themselves some food and get back into a cosy bed. Which makes me think that it must all be for show.
    Many years ago I volunteered with someone from the prison service and he told me that part of his training, was to sleep rough in London for a weekend. He said that he was given £5, left at a location in central London and that someone would pick him up again in two days time. It sounds pretty brutal, but I wonder how many people would be putting themselves forward for this.

  3. Would a sponsered starve be appropriate for raising funds for eating disorder services??