Heartfelt plea from author Raynor Winn to help homeless people this winter
Best-selling author Raynor Winn is rallying support for the Virtual Eden Sleep Out to raise vital funds for homeless people facing an uncertain winter.
After Raynor and her husband Moth suddenly found themselves broke and homeless in their fifties, she turned their vivid experiences of walking the South West Coast Path and sleeping in a tent into an acclaimed book, The Salt Path.
Her compelling account of the challenges of adjusting to living under a roof again after their life-changing adventure is the basis of her recent follow-up, The Wild Silence.
Raynor and Moth have been great supporters of the annual Sleep Out outside the Eden Project Biomes when fundraisers have bedded down to raise thousands of pounds for two homelessness charities, St Petrocs and the Amber Foundation.
Government guidance due to the pandemic means that a mass Sleep Out cannot take place at Eden this year so instead, people are being invited to join in remotely on the big night, November 19, 2020.
Organisers hope that because there does not need to be a limit on numbers, more money than ever will be raised at a time when the work of the charities will provide a lifeline to hundreds of homeless people.
Raynor said: “In the unpredictable months to come many more people will find themselves turning to our local homeless charities for assistance.
“St Petrocs and the Amber Foundation need all the help we can give them to keep offering their services during this difficult time, so please support the remote sleep out to raise much-needed funds - every pound matters, because the next person they help could be me, it could be you.”
Participants in the Virtual Eden Sleep Out will be able to enjoy content online to entertain them and inspire their fundraising, including a talk from Raynor about her and Moth’s journey.
Among other contributors on the night will be Mimi Beard, who became homeless aged 16 before turning her life around, and singer-songwriter Suzie Mac.
Both charities say that having the support of Raynor, Moth, Mimi, Suzie and others is a great way to promote the Sleep Out fundraising efforts.
St Petrocs mission is to help single homeless people in Cornwall. Communications Manager Dave Brown said: “As restrictions on our daily lives continue and the winter approaches, it is really important that we stay open and that we are able to continue to assist those who need our help.
“The help of the Cornish community, including events such as the Eden Sleep Out, enables us to continue this important work.”
The Amber Foundation has three residential centres across the South and South West, including Ashley Court in Chawleigh near Crediton, Devon, where it helps unemployed homeless young people.
Becky Fry, Amber’s Fundraising Manager, said: “Fundraising, as ever, remains central to Amber’s continued operation and has been hit hard by the pandemic. This event provides a wonderful opportunity for people to come together virtually and raise as much money as possible to support those most hard hit.”
To join in the Virtual Eden Sleep Out, participants pay a registration fee of £25 and then raise as much as they can for one of the two charities.
To sign up for this year’s Sleep Out, go to: www.edenproject.com/sleepout