Sleep Out raises more than £6,000 for Launchpad charity

A group of more than 60  Sixth Form students and eight members of staff spent a night sleeping out in below-freezing temperatures to raise money for homelessness charity, Launchpad, on Friday, 8th December. The sixth biennial Blue Coat Sleep Out 2017 has raised more than £6,200 for the charity so far, taking the total raised for Launchpad by Blue Coat to just under £25,000.

According to event organiser, Examinations Manager Mrs Blackwell: “Temperatures got down to below minus 3 degrees C and everyone had thick frost on their sleeping bags. All they had to keep them warm was sleeping bags, cardboard, a big campfire and lots of community spirit and bonding.”

Year 13 student Matthew was one of the Sixth Form participants. “It was fun at the start and I felt quite warm, but, as the night went on, we got colder and colder and the ground started sucking the heat out from under us. I had frost on my sleeping bag before I’d even got into it!” he said.  “But it was okay for us because we knew we were going back to a warm bath and a warm bed.”

Marcus, another Year 13 student, said: “Being homeless is not fun. I could survive for a night, but I wouldn’t want it to be my life”.

Mrs Blackwell said: “I am immensely proud of the students and staff that participated. It’s an incredibly valuable thing that we do for Launchpad, but it also allows the students to have a very real and thought-provoking experience of what homelessness feels like – especially in the winter”.

Launchpad’s Fundraising and Relationship Manager, Jason McMahon, congratulated the Sleep Out participants and said: “You all certainly smashed it!” He also thanked Maria Blackwell, “without whom this would not happen”.

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