After a year hiatus, Stoke City Community Trust are delighted to confirm that its hugely popular Big Sleep Out event will return in 2022.
Next year’s event will take place at the bet365 Stadium on Friday, February 25, and it is sure to be a hit once again with the hundreds of people who take part.
The charitable initiative encourages supporters and the wider community to help raise awareness of homelessness within the city and its surrounding areas.
Participants get first-hand experience of what it’s like to brave the elements overnight as they bed down inside and outside the Franklyn Stand concourse, all whilst raising much-needed funds for local homeless charities.
The charities who will benefit in 2022 are The Macari Centre, The Lyme Trust and The Gingerbread Centre.
You must be 11 and over to attend, however, if you are under 18, you must be accompanied by an adult/guardian and have parental permission to attend.
For those unable to attend, the Community Trust are encouraging people to take part in the Sleep Out at home by sleeping in their garden, on their floors, or wherever feels like a challenge!
Adrian Hurst, Head of Community at Stoke City, said: “This is a community initiative where we’re looking to do two things; one, to raise money for the homeless cause that is affecting people across the city; and two, bring awareness to homelessness. For me, the biggest thing we can do as an organisation is make people aware of this issue that in the past 10 years has gotten bigger and bigger.
In July 2021, Staffordshire University launched the ‘Action on Poverty and Hardship’ degree, a unique course centred around the importance of the lived experience of those who have faced hardship.
Martin Coates, Lecturer in the School of Justice, Security and Sustainability, believes the Big Sleep Out is a great opportunity for students on the new course to get involved with. “This degree has unique aspects of lived experience, so we’re looking at what it’s actually like to live in poverty and what it’s like to be homeless.
“I think the publicity on homelessness is nowhere near high enough. So to actively come out and experience what it’s like, even just a flavor of it, and raise awareness for it is very important. “Having learnt what the Big Sleep Out is, I am going to be actively encouraging my students to come and attend”.
Wayne Damant added: “WDPS and L D Property are local, family run businesses and are proud to support our local community. We have chosen to sponsor the Big Sleep Out not only because it is supporting Stoke and the surrounding areas to help homeless, less fortunate people, but also to help our community raise awareness of the affects this has on so many people and how we can make small steps to make changes which can have a huge, positive impact.”
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