Wigan charity worker will return to sleeping on the streets this weekend
A charity worker who used to be homeless is returning to the streets this weekend as part of a fund-raising event taking place across the borough.
The Brick is holding its Big Back Garden Sleep on Saturday, where people are encouraged to swap the comfort of their beds and a roof over their heads for a night in their gardens.
Outreach worker Algie, 39, is taking the challenge a step further by sleeping in a doorway in Wigan town centre.
He knows how important charities like The Brick are, having experienced homelessness himself, sleeping on the streets and sofa surfing.
Since moving to Wigan and finding out about the work done by The Brick, Algie was inspired to help other people get off the streets.
He is now working as part of the charity’s outreach team, which goes out in Wigan and Leigh to help people who are homeless.
He said: “Last year I raised £1,500 sleeping in my back garden and this year I want to really challenge myself and return to the streets for one night to attempt to raise even more money.
“When I was homeless I tried to get support from other charities and from support agencies, but it was The Brick that really came through for me. There aren’t many charities that will provide a bed and accommodation and will give the help and support that is so needed to rejoin society.
“I worked at The Brick as an activities co-ordinator for five months, before becoming a member of The Brick’s outreach team and I am so happy that I can help and support others in a situation that I once faced.
“I want people from the community to join us for the Big Back Garden Sleep, whether they are sleeping in their garden, in a sleeping bag on the grass, or for the whole family to join in a tent. Any contributions will help and we really need the help right now, following such a difficult year.”
The Brick’s Big Back Garden Sleep replaces its annual sleep-out for the second year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
People can join Algie and the rest of the team from The Brick by sleeping outdoors on Saturday and throughout the Easter break.
Businesses have pledged their support, with The Old Courts in Wigan providing entertainment for the evening with music, poetry and craft workshops for people to enjoy in their gardens.
Butchers Fayre is providing discounted Brick Project barbecue packs for anyone looking to cook outdoors.
Full details of The Brick’s Big Back Garden Sleep, how to register and details of activities are on The Brick’s Facebook page.
Make a donation at justgiving.com/campaign/thebigbackgardensleep or support Algie at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/algie
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