South Shields FC raise vital awareness and funds for good causes with overnight sleep-out

Players, staff and supporters from South Shields Football Club braved the elements as they did their bit for the homeless.

An overnight sleep-out event was held at the club’s Mariners Park home on Saturday night.

Among those who took part were Mariners players Jon Shaw, Carl Finnigan and Barrie Smith.

They - along with seven others - dealt with the biting cold throughout the night to raise money and awareness for two organisations.

Well over £1,000 has been raised from the event so far, with the proceeds to be split between South Shields-based charity Hospitality and Hope, and North East Athletic.

For Jon, it was also a vital event to help raise awareness of the challenges homeless people go through on a daily basis.

From left, South Shields players Jon Shaw, Carl Finnigan and Barrie Smith get cosy. Image by Peter Talbot.

From left, South Shields players Jon Shaw, Carl Finnigan and Barrie Smith get cosy. Image by Peter Talbot.

He said: “It was a bit of an eye-opener.

“We were out there for seven hours, uncomfortable and with broken sleep, and there was bad weather.

“It was fun at times and we had a bit of a laugh, but you couldn’t imagine having to do it more than one night.

“The money is great and will help the charities.

Hopefully it raises awareness for people and gives people a bit more of an idea of what is going on

Jon Shaw

“At the same time, hopefully it raises awareness for people and gives people a bit more of an idea of what is going on. People can help, whether it’s dropping clothes into homeless charities or helping someone you see on the street.”

Carl added: “At the end, we said to each other there was no way we could do that every night.

“Our thoughts have to go out to people who do have to deal with that on a daily basis, because it was difficult just for one night.

“I only had about 20 minutes of sleep all night, and I know the rest of those who took part were the same.”

From left, South Shields press officer Daniel Prince with players Barrie Smith, Jon Shaw and Carl Finnigan. Image by Peter Talbot.

From left, South Shields press officer Daniel Prince with players Barrie Smith, Jon Shaw and Carl Finnigan. Image by Peter Talbot.

The funds will be split between the two charities.

Hospitality and Hope operates a soup kitchen and food bank in the borough.

North East Athletic is a sports club for people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction in the region, some of whom are homeless.

Donations can still be made online by visiting mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/marinersparksleep

South Shields FC committee member Bob Scott, back left, youth coach Darren Churchill, back right, and volunteers Brian Lawson, front left, and Carl Sharp. Image by Peter Talbot.

South Shields FC committee member Bob Scott, back left, youth coach Darren Churchill, back right, and volunteers Brian Lawson, front left, and Carl Sharp. Image by Peter Talbot.

South Shields player Carl Finnigan did his best to protect himself from the elements. Image by Peter Talbot.

South Shields player Carl Finnigan did his best to protect himself from the elements. Image by Peter Talbot.

South Shields player Barrie Smith gets ready for a cold night. Image by Peter Talbot.

South Shields player Barrie Smith gets ready for a cold night. Image by Peter Talbot.