Roughing it - for one night only in Leeds

Fundraisers gather at Leeds Minster for a previous  event to raise money for the Simon on the Streets homeless charity.
Fundraisers gather at Leeds Minster for a previous event to raise money for the Simon on the Streets homeless charity.
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Hundreds of people are expected to support rough sleepers at the Royal Armouries next week.

City charity Simon on the Streets is staging its annual sponsored sleep out – #SleepWithSimon – at the museum on Thursday, September 24.

The charity’s biggest annual fundraising opportunity challenges supporters to spend a night sleeping in the open air, giving them a glimpse of what it is like to sleep rough.

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Simon on the Streets general manager Helen Beachell said: “Given recent crackdowns on rough sleepers and street begging in Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield, it is more important than ever that we don’t push people with very unique and often complex support needs to the margins of our society.

“One night does not begin to capture the feelings of vulnerability and despair that sleeping rough every night creates, but the feedback from local people who have joined our sponsored sleep out previously, shows that it goes some way to helping them understand the issue.

“We’re actively supporting some 100 people in West Yorkshire, currently, who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, helping them to access the services they need to make positive changes to their lives. Thursday’s event will help us to continue and expand that vital lifeline.”

Last year’s event raised £24,000 for Simon on the Streets.

Along with the actual sleep there will be the chance to hear from some of the people who have been supported by the organisation.

Everyone who joins the event is asked to raise a minimum of £100. It costs more than £2,000 per year to support one service user.

To find out more visit www.sleepwithsimon.co.uk.

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