Northampton sixth form students prepare for Sleep Out for Hope Centre
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Thomas Becket Sixth Form students will aim to raise awareness of homelessness this Friday night (November 17), by sleeping outside.
The school will run a fundraiser, ‘Sleepout for Hope’ with students and teachers combating the cold weather to raise money for the Northampton Hope Centre.
It aims to help the Hope Centre prepare for the cold and winter months, allowing students to experience the reality of those in need.
The Met Office has predicted temperatures of four degrees, so it is expected to be a cold night for the sixth-formers.
Head of Thomas Becket Sixth Form, Victoria Donovan spoke about the importance of raising money for the homeless.
She said: “The students are already very mindful of how important it is to think beyond themselves but this allows them to demonstrate their compassion and selflessness. They want to inspire change and awaken understanding in the local community.”
With 20 students from years 12 and 13 and four members of staff going out to the cold, the event will start at 6pm with a lot of cardboard and sleeping bags packed for the night. The project hoped to raise £1,000 – a target which has already been reached.
Victoria further spoke about why this project was important to the Hope Centre.
She added: “We have seen the need for the Hope Centre’s services increase significantly over the last few months, and they are now supporting over 100 homeless from across Northampton.
“This number is in addition to the 2,500 households they are helping through their food larders, which support those who are hungry and at risk of homelessness.”
She went on to speak about how they are learning to be valuable members of the community through their contributions.
She said: “It will give them a brief insight into the realities of what being homeless is like with no home comforts, and I believe that this will encourage them to be even more empathetic to the experiences of others.”
The Government released a statement that showed that the estimated number of people sleeping rough in the UK had grown 15 percent between March and June 2023.
The research found that it had also increased by 30 percent in the same period as the year before.
With all proceeds going to the Hope Centre, Community, and Events Fundraiser, Tanya Haji-Miller, praised the student's efforts. She said: “For young people to act and get involved in a project and have such sympathy to go out is very heartwarming for us.
“They will learn what it is like to be homeless and experience it for themselves.”
With the project already raising more than £1,000, Tanya also spoke about the importance of community fundraising for the Hope Centre. She said: “The community is vital to what we are doing here.”
Launching the Christmas Financial appeal, the charity has already seen great support. She continued: “We have seen a good response with people already buying items for us, all important to keep people fed and warm over the Christmas period.”
With the event the student set to go out and brave the col, you can donate to the charity through their JustGiving page here.