Sleep Out 2018

By Hattie Curl, Junior Account Executive

Last Friday night, seven members of the Touchdown team had the privilege of sleeping out in Aldershot football club stadium in aid of Step by Step.  This phenomenal local charity offers young people the support they need in times of hardship, particularly when faced with homelessness, to help them get back on track and have bright futures.

The team were permitted to sleep on the cold, hard concrete steps of one of the stands.  Sleeping bags and mats were allowed – but no tents – which allowed us to understand the experience of what it must be like to sleep rough.

It was a fun night full of fundraising activities, but also extremely thought-provoking.  Alongside the excitement of the face painting and glitter tattoos (we had a blue Darth Vader, a Wonder Woman headband and an array of unicorns, rainbows and crowns), there were performances from various youths that had benefitted from Step by Step’s projects that really stole the show.

The talent these teenagers and young adults had was astounding. Singing covers of well-known songs, as well as music they had written themselves, the talented musicians explained how music often helped them in times of hardship.  It was moving to hear them give first-hand accounts of their experiences with homelessness and mental health problems.

After the performances, we headed back into the stands and had a laugh playing games and chatting, before hunkering down for a good night’s sleep.  When the stadium lights finally went out in the early hours, the sun started to rise and we were all awake by 6am with cold noses and a bleary feeling.  One of the team even managed to roll onto the step below during his sleep – no mean feat!

Overall it was a great night and we all enjoyed ourselves.  It was humbling to be able to learn about others’ experiences, and certainly made us all more mindful of what we can do to help the local community moving forwards.

We want to say a big thank you to Step by Step for organising the event.  I think it’s fair to say we would all love to attend next year to raise more money and awareness for this fantastic cause – and perhaps we can recruit some more people to join us!

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