Friday, 09 October 2020 07:23

Supporters sign up for Alabaré's The Big Sleep at Home tonight Featured

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SUPPORTERS from across north and west Wiltshire have signed up to give up their warm, comfy beds tonight.

They will all be taking part in a ‘pandemic-proof’ The Big Sleep at Home tonight organised by regional homeless charity, Alabaré.

Leading into this year’s World Homeless Day, Alabaré is asking people young and old(er!) to make a massive difference to those left homeless, alone and in crisis.

Some of the people taking part come from the West Ashton Primary School in Trowbridge and St Bartholomew’s Primary Academy in Royal Wootton Bassett.

People from Royal Wootton Bassett, Trowbridge, Warminster, Westbury and Collingbourne Kingston have also signed up for the event.

West Ashton Primary school took part in Alabaré’s Super Sleep out with 15 primary schools involved in the Trowbridge Youth Parliament at the beginning of the year at the Trowbridge Town Hall.

Laura Knight, the charity’s community engagement officer, said: “We are thrilled that we have so many incredible supporters from Wiltshire.

"We also have people sleeping out from Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

"By sleeping somewhere uncomfortable or unusual for one night this autumn, you can help change the lives of people who desperately need our support.

"I am sure it will be a memorable night, and people will have fun whilst raising money for such an important, life-saving cause.”

The charity has a Christian care centre and a winter night shelter, The Haven, in Trowbridge, and care centres in Andover and Salisbury.

Alabaré runs a range of vital homes and services for vulnerable and homeless people, including drop-in centres providing hot food and dry clothes.

The charity also operates homes where people can get the support they need to overcome the problems that lead them to be homeless, and training to find employment and manage a new tenancy.

They are one of many charities who have seen the fundraising income they rely on be slashed by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

All of the fundraising events the charity had planned for the year have had to be cancelled or postponed, at a time when all the signs indicate there will be more people than ever needing Alabaré’s services this winter.

Alabaré CEO, Andrew Lord, said: “Intervention by charities and the government has thankfully helped to reduce the number of vulnerable homeless people left to face this killer virus alone on our streets so far this year.

"However, without swift action now we are looking at an impending crisis in the private rental sector as tenants who could not pay their rents are evicted, as well as an increase in unemployment and mental ill health risk.

"The combination of all these factors means tragically we are likely to see a surge in homelessness as the winter sets in. This is why we so urgently need everyone’s help.”

Tell us all about your Big Sleep at Home. Please email details, photos and a contact phone to john.baker@newsquest.co.uk

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