Rough sleeping event at Hebburn Town Football Club raises more than £3,000 for charities fighting North East homelessness

A group of fundraisers swapped their beds for the streets to do their bit for a trio of North East charities.

About 30 people spent a night sleeping rough at Hebburn Town Football Club, in South Drive, to raise awareness of work in the region combatting homeless and help provide funds for three charities delivering vital services in the region.

And despite being the coldest night of the regular event organisers have yet held, the efforts of participants saw them collect more than £3,000 to support vital services.

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The annual sleep out, which was being held for the fourth time on Friday (October 14), was organised by Hebburn Help co-founder Angie Comerford to demonstrate how some of the vulnerable people in South Tyneside and beyond live.

Annual sleep out at Hebburn Town Football Club
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"It was the coldest year yet but everyone was still in good spirits come the morning which was brilliant,” said the 46-year-old, who also thanked the club for once again allowing use of its facilities.

"We had loads of giggles and we started off as strangers and left as friends.

"I personally didn’t get a wink of sleep as my sleeping bag ended up soaking wet as a lady spilled drink on mine so wasn’t able to lie down and get comfy in it, so that was me sitting up right until it got light.

Sleepers out in the cold at Hebburn Town Football Club.

"I had a tiny round of sleep then went home to thaw out in bed.

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"I’m still trying to catch up on my sleep now but it was well worth knowing that much money has been raised and its going to help keep these charities ticking over.”

The cash raised will be shared between Destiny Streetworx, which provides help and support for homeless people; Embells Community Support, based in Gateshead, and Vinnies @ St Vincent’s Centre, in Newcastle, which both support individuals and families with food parcels, clothing and welfare assistance.

One of the sleeping bags that was set up for the night.

Previous beneficiaries have included Key 2 Life Food bank and The Salvation Army.

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This year has been one of the most popular held so far, with participation up from about 20 people in previous years, while donations almost doubled from a previous base of about £2,000.