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A good night’s sleep in a warm bed is just one of life’s luxuries that many of us are lucky enough to take for granted. We live in a highly developed and sophisticated place – it is easy for us to assume comfort is our birth right. It is easy to put those lacking such comfort to the back of our minds, while we focus instead on all the things we have to do and all the experiences waiting for us. It is easy enough to sleep at night.
At last count, there were 2,309 individuals sleeping rough on the wealthy streets of the UK. As we pull on onesies and crawl under duvets, there are others struggling simply to find shelter from the drizzle. ‘Comfort’ is sought in doorway dens and cardboard shanties, in stairwells and on park benches. ‘Things’ and experiences’ amount to not much.
Worthing Churches Homeless Projects (WCHP), founded in 1990, believes that everyone has the right to a home, regardless of the difficulties and issues they may face in their lives. The charity supports hundreds of vulnerable and excluded people in the local community, assisting them in a journey back to independent living.
Like most charities of its kind, WCHP relies heavily on support from local individuals and businesses. Fresh Egg is very proud to be a part of that support network, contributing regularly to fundraising projects and events for the charity. Last year saw us wearing woolly hats, baking cakes, dressing up and buying Christmas presents to help raise much needed funds.
Last week, a group of Fresh Egg staff took part in the annual sponsored WCHP Sleepout: an event which involves spending the night in a local school playground, sleeping under the stars. Having taken part in the event for five years in a row, Fresh Egg considers itself a Sleepout veteran with plenty of tricks for perfect preparation. This is why the latter half of last week saw us gathering cardboard boxes, tarpaulin and cable ties from shops up and down Montague Street. We found ourselves on a brand new level of preparedness thanks to the generous carpet offcut offering from local suppliers, Burgess Flooring.
Armed with the tools to build a sturdy, weather-withstanding sleep fortress, we traipsed along to Broadwater Middle School on Saturday evening, ready to put ourselves in the position of less fortunate others for the night. We were lucky: the rain which threatened earlier that day had backed off and we were able to make the most of a fence and a picnic bench in order to fashion a shelter of sorts. After a few hours of chatter and a card game or two, we settled down.
All told, we mustered roughly eight hours of sleep between the seven of us taking part. The rain held off all night and the tarp kept back the worst of the wind. It was cold and it was not comfortable, but we knew we had somewhere to go the following morning, things to do and experiences to have – if only to be sitting at home in the warm.
So far, Fresh Egg has raised in excess of £3,000 for Worthing Churches Homeless Projects, with over £700 of that coming from this year’s Sleepout alone. We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of the kind and generous people who donated to the cause via our JustGiving page. We are proud to say that the friends and followers of Fresh Egg remember the importance of giving back.
Our JustGiving page is still open and any donations will be gratefully received. Thank you.