WIGANERS are invited to spend a night sleeping rough to help support the thousands of people who have no choice but to take shelter under the stars.
The Brick Homeless Project is co-ordinating Wigan’s first ever StreetSleep on Friday, January 25, which will take place between 10pm and 6am.
Volunteers will be sleeping out in the town centre, regardless of the weather, in an effort to raise awareness of their plight and to raise funds to provide shelter and sleeping bags for them.
The event coincides with a national awareness campaign Poverty and Homelessness Action Week, organised by Church Action on Poverty, Housing Justice and Scottish Churches Housing Action.
The week runs from January 26 to February 3.
Trish Green, founder of The Brick, said: “Our event will mark the beginning of Homelessness Week and we are trying to raise awareness of what people go through when they have to sleep rough.
“Other organisations have co-ordinated outdoor sleep events and we decided to organise our own and, incidently, it fit in nicely with the awareness week.
“We want to show people that those who sleep on the streets are not tramps.
“They may have had a relationship breakdown, or lost their job and ended up homeless until they were able to get some help.
“There are people who spend a few nights on the streets who should not be there.
“We need loads of people to get involved – people who are going to go out there and raise lots of sponsor money for us. It is up to the individual taking part to provide their own sleeping bags, blankets and warm clothing, but The Brick will ensure everyone’s safety and provide hot drinks on the night.
“All the money raised will go towards alleviating homelessness in the borough.”
Anyone interested in taking part can ring The Brick on 01942 236953 or e-mail email@example.com to get a registration and sponsor form.
The registration fee is £5.
Donations can also be made by visiting www.thebrick.org.uk or by sending a cheque payable to the Brick, at 29 Hallgate, Wigan, WN1 1LR.
All monies will go towards The Brick, which supports homeless people, or families in poverty.