Skip to main content

A cold hard night outside Eden’s Biomes raises vital funds for homeless people

Bedding down in paper sleeping bags on bone-hard ground, 75 hardy fundraisers endured a damp, chilly night at the Eden Project, raising much-needed funds for two South West charities.


Sleepout event at Eden


The annual mass Sleepout raises thousands of pounds for Cornwall-based St Petrocs, which helps people experiencing homelessness, and The Amber Foundation, which runs three residential centres supporting young people facing complex issues including homelessness and unemployment. 

The charities say the extra funds can be life-saving, especially entering an uncertain winter when the huge demand for help in the region is at its highest for several years.

With temperatures plummeting to near zero, the fundraisers got their heads down outside the Biomes after an evening of live music and compelling talks. 

Becky Fry, Amber’s fundraising manager, who attended with young people from the charity’s Devon centre, said: “Sleepout at Eden is unbelievably helpful.  Everyone I know says that it’s special.  It’s heart-warming and reflective during the evening – and then the Sleepout itself is a genuine challenge for everyone taking part.

“As a charity I don’t think our services have ever been more needed than right now. It’s not just the number of young people needing help – it’s also how complex their needs are.

“Some recent research has shown that one in four young people are unable to cope because of the pandemic. Many are at breaking point.  There is uncertainty and anxiety.  The young people coming to us have struggled for longer and their needs are much greater.”

Becky said that the money raised would be spent directly on Christmas activities at Amber’s centres: “Christmas is a difficult time for the people we look after.  This will make a big difference and help us pull out all the stops to give them the best Christmas we can and make them feel cherished and supported.”

Lois Wild of St Petrocs said: "We're currently working with a growing number of people becoming homeless, the highest numbers in three years.

“Last month we worked with 101 people who were sleeping rough in Cornwall. There are increased pressures as a consequence of the pandemic and we are very concerned for the winter ahead. We have decided to start our winter provision early this year as there is no other option.

“This amazing annual event hosted by Eden and supported by fantastic individuals and businesses in Cornwall enables us to run this vital service with all funds directly supporting this work - and we are so grateful."

Eden’s chef team made sure all the fundraisers were well fed by leading DIY pizza-making classes and serving stew and soup.

The evening got into full swing with top-class sets from solo singers Bailey Nelson, Terrie-May McNulty and Josh Curnow.

There followed a captivating talk by acclaimed author Raynor Winn, who was suddenly made homeless in her fifties and has since written two bestselling books, The Salt Path and The Wild Silence, based on her and husband Moth’s experiences.   Raynor is a great supporter of the Sleepout event.

The Sleepout participants then had the chance to join illustration classes led by Helen Trevaskis and Rosie Flatt, graduates of Falmouth University’s prestigious Illustration BA and two of the organisers of StreetDraw24 - an annual 24-hour drawing event and exhibition to raise awareness and funds for St Petrocs.

Groups of people from companies including Rick Stein’s, Watson-Marlow, St Ewe Eggs and Wild West Comms were among the fundraisers.

St Petrocs Director Henry Meacock and Becky Fry of Amber talked of the work of the charities and how the fundraising would be a great help going into winter.

Eden’s Development Director Dan James said: “Hats off to all the fundraisers for supporting the two charities and making a real difference at this time of year.


“We are humbled by the life-saving work the Amber Foundation and St Petrocs do for so many people at a time of great need and we look forward to welcoming them and their supporters back again for Sleepout 2022.”