Date: 
Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 11:00

Homelessness charities are set for a big boost thanks to a rush to take part in the outdoors Sleep Out event at the Eden Project on Thursday November 19.

Registration for the event has now closed after a capacity 125 hardy souls signed up to bed down with sleeping bags and cardboard mats outside the Biomes.

Sleep Out is a nationwide event organised by the End Youth Homelessness (EYH) campaign, a national partnership of grassroots charities and companies that provides vital support to homeless young people. The national campaign aims to raise more than £500,000 for homelessness charities.

This is the second year Eden has hosted a Sleep Out. Last year 27 people took part. Those at the Eden event are aiming to raise as much as possible for two worthy charities - St Petroc’s Society and EYH regional partner, the Amber Foundation.

On the night there will be live music from local band Clay and food workshops with Tony Trenerry, head chef at Eden, and Sanjay Kumar, head chef at the Headland Hotel, Newquay and founder of the School of Cornish Sardines.

To help ensure everyone has the chance of a good night’s sleep, The Bishop of St Germans, The Rt Reverend Chris Goldsmith, is going to read a bedtime story.

The event has had great support from radio station Pirate FM.  On the night, presenters Neil Caddy and Tina Bessell will be among the 125 sleeping out.  They will rise early to broadcast their breakfast show live from Eden the following morning, November 20.

Organiser Jo Gale of the Eden Project said: “The homelessness charities and the Eden Project are thrilled with all the support this year.  We have had to close registration but we are hoping that people who want to get behind this great cause will sponsor participants or donate directly to the charities.”

People can support St Petroc’s and the Amber Foundation by donating directly to them via the website links www.stpetrocs.org.uk  and www.amberweb.org or by texting COLD02 and the amount they would like to donate (for example £5) to 70070.

Cornwall has one of the highest numbers of rough sleepers in the UK. Most are either from Cornwall or have lived and worked in the county for a significant time. Others travel to the county fleeing violence or in search of employment and a fresh start. For many, Cornwall is simply the end of the line on the train.

A large majority of rough sleepers are young and male, many of whom have suffered a relationship breakdown or lost employment. Some may have drug, alcohol or mental health problems. Some are offenders, and an increasing number of former service personnel are being seen. Women account for approximately 20 per cent of rough sleepers. All homeless people are vulnerable.

St Petroc’s Society exists to provide a diverse range of services for the single homeless, who, more often than not, fall outside the responsibility of statutory authorities. The Society provides accommodation, support, advice, training and resettlement services to single homeless people in Cornwall. Within resources available, they strive to provide the best quality of service possible. Their primary aim is to provide these services to people aged 16-65 years and for whom no provision is made within the community, either statutory or otherwise. www.stpetrocs.org.uk

The Amber Foundation offers a supportive and nurturing environment where young people, whose lives have gone badly wrong, can recover their self-esteem and learn respect for others, as well as other important life skills. Amber helps their residents to think through what they wish to achieve, and provides practical help and advice on how to reach these goals. The very low re-offending rate amongst Amber’s former residents is just one sign of their success. Amber provides 24-hour care and support every day of the year and whilst the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, their programme is carefully structured and tailored to the individual. For more information, see: www.amberweb.org  

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