Date: 
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 13:45

For the third year in succession the Eden Project will be hosting Sleep Out on Thursday November 10, 2016.

The event will see people sleeping outdoors at Eden during a cold autumnal night with nothing but a sleeping bag and a cardboard mat. The aim is to raise as much as possible for two worthy homelessness charities - St Petroc’s Society and the Amber Foundation. Last year more than 100 people took part at Eden.

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.

Registration for the event has now opened and 140 spaces are up for grabs. As there are a limited amount of spaces available a swift sign-up is recommended. Anyone who wants to take part at the Sleep Out at Eden should visit www.edenproject.com/sleepout.

On the night, participants will be joined by the fantastic comedian, Kernow King, and talented Cornish singer songwriter, Suzie Mac, who will provide the evening’s entertainment. There will also be cookery workshops and Campfire Tales. Food, hot drinks and a licensed bar will be on offer.

Neil Caddy, Pirate FM’s Breakfast Show host, will be taking part again this year, broadcasting from the event during the evening and hosting their Breakfast Show the following morning, highlighting the fact that homeless people have to sleep rough and still get up and do a job the following day.

Jo Gale, organiser of the Sleep Out event at the Eden Project, said: “Eden Project, St Petroc’s and Amber Foundation are delighted with the growth of this event year on year and are hoping for a record year of fundraising. We are hoping that people who want to get behind this great cause will either sign up to take part themselves, sponsor participants or donate directly to the charities.”

Corinna Langford, Community Relations Manager at St Petroc’s, said: “In the last year, rough sleeping has increased in the South West by 41 per cent, above the national average of 30 per cent. Quite alarmingly, a large proportion of those rough sleepers are young people. However, they are all people, all in need of our care and support. Once again, we are absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with Amber Foundation and the Eden Project to raise awareness and much needed funds. Working together, we can deliver so much more!”

Paul Rosam, CEO of the EYH regional partner Amber Foundation, said: “Amber is delighted to be joining forces again with the fantastic teams at Eden and St Petroc’s in order to raise awareness and urgently-needed funds for young homeless people. Tragically rough sleeping is on the increase, especially in the South West, so our services are needed now more than ever – a safe place to stay is just the start of the journey.”

Kernow King said: “In this day and age, nobody should be homeless.”

Suzie Mac said: “It could easily be one of us or someone close to us. Life can deal some cruel cards at times. There is a terrible stigma about those who are homeless. They are fellow human beings who need support and someone to hold out their hand to lift them up. I was in London gigging with Mad Dog Mcrea a couple of years ago and met an incredible man called Malcolm, we befriended him in Camden for a few days. Our last morning, we ended up having a jam outside a little cafe and he requested a song. We have the video and it was absolute magic. The first time he lit up while singing. He spurred me on to do the Winter Solace album last year.

"I spent a few hours on Christmas Day eve last year at St Petroc's in Truro. Everyone was so lovely and I was amazed at how many had been able to visit friends or family during that day. Thanks to St Petroc's helping to build bridges between them.”

Mark Peters, Managing Director of Pirate FM, said: “We are proud to be part of this fantastic event again and excited at the way Sleep Out has grown as much as it has in support of two great charities, St Petroc’s and Amber Foundation.”

People can support St Petroc’s and the Amber Foundation by donating directly to them via 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.

Based on Government figures, Cornwall is the fifth highest area in the UK for numbers of rough sleepers. 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, the county 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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