Meet the inspiring volunteers who slept out all night in freezing cold to raise cash for the homeless

A group of volunteers experienced what life is like for the homeless when they spent a night sleeping rough to raise cash for a South Shields charity.

By Sophie Brownson
Friday, 22nd November 2019, 11:45 am
The volunteers taking part in the sleep out fundraiser.
The volunteers taking part in the sleep out fundraiser.

Julie Lehman, 43, from Biddick Hall, organised the sleep out fundraiser in aid of Hospitality and Hope; an organisation which supports homeless and vulnerable people in South Tyneside.

The charity has a foodbank, soup kitchen and wellbeing support services.

Julie was joined by 13 family and friends who spent a night braving freezing cold conditions to sleep out at Temple Park Memorial Park in South Shields.

The volunteers were raising money for Hospitality and Hope.

The effort – which took place on Saturday, November 16 – saw the group endure 12 hours sleeping outside, from 7pm to 7am.

The initiative raised around £1,000 for Hospitality and Hope, which is based on Hampden Street, South Shields.

Julie, who was joined by her daughter Kaysey Sutherland, 15, and son Dale Sutherland, 28, said she was delighted the effort had raised so much money for the charity.

She said: “I had seen The World’s Biggest Sleep out advertised on the internet and wanted to do a local one to raise money to help homeless people.

“It made us realise what the homeless have to endure day in and day out.

“I’ll never walk past a homeless person now without asking them of they are OK and if they want a hot drink.

“It rained a few times during the night and we slept on cardboard boxes.

“We had a lovely delivery from Mambo’s Express they gave us five pizzas for our supper which we really enjoyed.”

The group are due to visit the charity to donate the money raised this month.

Paul Oliver, chief executive of Hospitality and Hope, was delighted with the support.

He said: “We are delighted that they have chosen us as their charity to support.

“Their commitment in staying out in the freezing cold to raise awareness is outstanding.

“It’s an area that we see and deal with regularly on a daily basis so to see some people take proactive steps to help us is brilliant.”