The dedication in my novel Just Bea reads, ‘Dedicated to those who are or have experience of being homeless. You matter.’ This is heartfelt. I was inspired to write Just Bea after looking into the faces of young men and women who I passed on the streets of London. I started talking to them and discovered that everyone has a story. Nobody wants to sleep on a street. On the 1st October I am going to do just that. I am joining people all over the UK who will be spending one night sleeping rough to raise awareness and funds to support homeless people through GlassDoor London
I first heard about the Sleep Out in 2019. I thought it meant I would just unroll a sleeping bag on any London street as though I were homeless. Even then, I was contemplating the challenge. However, I knew my loved ones would be anxious and did not want to put them through that. If I had just slept out on my own, I know I would have been terrified. How could you sleep feeling so vulnerable and exposed? And yet that is exactly what so many people have to do.
It wasn’t until early 2020 that I met a woman who had participated in the Sleep Out. She explained that it was an organised event and the participants slept in a supervised area. With that reassurance I was ready to sign up for the 2020 Sleep Out. Of course, that did not happen because of the pandemic. So now, I can finally take part.
It is more important than ever to raise funds to tackle homelessness as more people are likely to find themselves in this situation through loss of income as a result of the pandemic.
I need to raise a minimum of £500 to participate. I will be hosting a coffee morning on 15th September which will help. I’m not an experienced fund raiser and I only have a few weeks. If you have any ideas then please share them with me.
If you would like to make a donation then please visit my fundraising page before 1st Oct 2021:
Thank you! I will update you on progress.