Skip to main content

A hard, chilly night outdoors at Eden raises vital funds for people experiencing homelessness

Around 80 hardy fundraisers bedded down in the cold night air at the Eden Project last night (Thursday November 10) to raise vital cash for homelessness charities.

Eden Project Sleep Out

Sleep Out at the Eden Project

Eden Project Sleep out

For the last eight years in November Eden has hosted a mass one-night Sleep Out outside the Biomes, raising awareness and tens of thousands of pounds for homelessness charities St Petrocs and the Amber Foundation.

Those taking part did their best to get some sleep underneath the canopy of the Link Building using only sheets of cardboard and their own sleeping bags for warmth and comfort.

The event comes at a time when the two charities say they are seeing a rapid rise in referrals, in particular among young people facing more complex issues, especially with their mental health. 

Dan James, Eden’s Development Director, said: “Once again we congratulate all participants for making it through the night and thank them for supporting the vital work the Amber Foundation and St Petrocs do for so many people. The awareness and funds raised at the Eden Sleep Out really do make a big difference.

“We look forward to hosting the Eden Sleep Out once again in 2023, for what will be our milestone 10th year, and we hope to see as many faces as possible, old and new, taking part.”  

Rebecca Fry, Amber’s Fundraising Manager, said: “We are so delighted to be involved in the Eden Sleep Out once again this year. It’s a really wonderful event highlighting a very serious issue that people young and old are facing on the streets right now.

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported and attended and the wonderful Eden team for putting on another excellent event. The money raised is hugely important to us and it is crucial that we continue to highlight this issue.“

Henry Meacock, Chief Executive of St Petrocs, said: “What a fantastic evening we had last night with Eden putting on another fabulous event. I'd like to say a sincere thank you to everyone who slept out to raise awareness and much needed funds. Thank you. The fundraising from the evening will go directly to support our emergency accommodation service this winter.

“Homelessness is a human rights crisis. It can be resolved and it can be prevented.  It is wonderful to see the community coming together at events like the Sleep Out to be part of the solution. Together, we will work to end homelessness in Cornwall.”

Before their night on hard-ground, the Sleep Out participants enjoyed live music from singer-songwriter Suzie Mac, a long-time supporter of the event and this year’s host. Suzie has been a prominent artist on BBC Introducing and has graced the stages at festivals including Glastonbury and Beautiful Days.

Adventurer, speaker and author Gail Muller gave an inspiring talk and reading from her memoir Unlost. Gail was told she would be wheelchair bound by the age of 40. Aged 41, she embarked on one of the world’s toughest treks – The Appalachian Trail. Her book is a testament to the strength of the human spirit.

Choir group Carclaze Voices gave a rousing choral  performance and there were inspiring stories shared by representatives of both charities.

Participants were also able to take part in cooking workshops with Eden’s chef team as they prepared pizzas and vegan curry.

The evening closed with a relaxing yoga session led by yoga teacher and Eden’s Education Manager Sam Kendall.

The Eden Sleep Out also saw the official launch of the outdoor exhibition for The People. Project Cornwall. The project is a collaboration between St Petrocs and the people of Cornwall brought to life by the portraits of social documentary photographer Gavan Goulder and by community arts organisation StreetDraw24. 

The project’s aim is to remind the world that whatever an individual’s circumstances we are all people and all people deserve homes. In doing so it hopes to confront the stigma around homelessness and people struggling with housing, and the shame this can lead to.

The Amber Foundation runs four supported housing centres for young people (aged 16-30) affected by homelessness, unemployment and mental ill health. Their South West centre, Ashley Court near Crediton in Devon, provides a temporary but safe and supportive home for young people from across the region.

All the young people who come to Amber receive fully tailored support and follow a development programme to help them move on to a job, a place in education or training and most importantly a safe, secure home of their own.

St Petrocs are working to end homelessness in Cornwall because every person has a right to a safe and secure home. St Petrocs is a charity providing a range of services with the aim of ending homelessness for good.

These include advice, support and medical services at resource centres and around the county with an outreach team, supported accommodation and a skills, training and employment programme.