An Urban Vision team member has gone above and beyond with volunteering and took part in the Booth Centre’s annual Manchester Sleepout.
Neil Ashmall has raised over £800 for the charity along with 400 participants that braved the elements and stayed out under the stars to raise money for the Booth Centre – a charity close to Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett’s heart.
Although not supposed to directly imitate the night a homeless person would endure, the focus of Manchester Sleepout is mainly to raise awareness and money to help get homeless people off the streets and into a safer environment. The event has been running for the past eight years, with views to continue next year.
Under a strict ‘no tent’ rule, Neil and the rest of the volunteers were ‘thrown out onto the streets’ at 10pm on Friday 10th November and left to secure a spot by Manchester Cathedral to sleep until morning. Not an easy feat with bustling and noisy city life, as well as the inevitable wet weather.
Part of the money raised from the Sleepout will also help to fund The Greater Manchester Winter Night Shelter, a project which houses 12 homeless men over the next six months. Six churches within a two-mile radius of the Arena (and Manchester Fire Station) will take it in turns – a night each day of the week to feed, give shelter and a safe place to sleep, warmth, comfort and a breakfast.
The Booth Centre’s philosophy is: “Here to bring about positive change in the lives of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and help them plan for and realise a better future.
We do this by providing activities to help people rebuild their confidence and learn something new while having fun. We run arts, employment and skills sessions daily and offer everyone a healthy breakfast and lunch.
Advice is available to help people find accommodation and overcome the practical difficulties they are facing.”
Well done to Neil for taking part and raising money for such an excellent cause!