Would you sleep rough for a night in Leeds to support Simon on the Streets charity?

Fundraisers gather at Leeds Minster in 2015 to raise money for Simon on the Streets. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe
Fundraisers gather at Leeds Minster in 2015 to raise money for Simon on the Streets. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

A charity which works with rough sleepers in Leeds is preparing for its biggest annual fundraiser.

Simon on the Streets will give participants a taster of what it is like to spend a night sleeping rough during the event on Thursday, September 28.

It will include a minute’s silence for Terry Bailey, who was killed last month, and others within the Leeds homeless community who have lost their lives this year.

Mr Bailey, 39, was no longer homeless when he was fatally attacked outside Leeds City Station on August 29 but he had slept rough in his younger years.

Louise Lapish, a trustee with Simon on the Streets, said: “With the tragic news of another senseless death within the Leeds homeless community, we will be taking a few moments to remember Terry and the others we have lost in 2017 at our sleep-out event.

“These deaths impact on the homeless community and our support workers as they see the personalities and people not the problem. We will ensure they are not forgotten.”

First organised in 2010, #sleepwithsimon is an opportunity for people to learn about the real challenges and isolation faced those sleeping rough – but with the charity’s team keeping a watchful eye to ensure everyone involved stays safe.

This year’s event will be held in the grounds of the Royal Armouries in Leeds from 7pm, with a registration fee of £10.

Participants will have the opportunity to hear a talk by motivational speaker Richard McCann, whose mother was the Yorkshire Ripper’s first victim.

There will also be the chance watch an exclusive screening of Red Ladder Theatre Company’s play Urban Grimshaw and the Shed Crew.

Among those taking part in the sleep-out is Robert Stephenson, manager of the Co-op store in Birkenshaw, where more than £500 has been raised.

Also taking part this year is Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Georgina Morris.

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georgina-morris3 to sponsor her.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry kiss on the steps of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle following their wedding. Photo:  Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Royal Wedding fails to lift gloom on Britain’s high streets