Corps officers sleep out in Big Collection fundraiser
published on 15 Sep 2020
Two church leaders from Dunstable have slept beneath the stars as part of an alternative fundraiser for this autumn’s ‘Big Collection’.
The sponsored sleep-out is particularly poignant because the money raised will go towards frontline services, including those for rough sleepers. Traditionally every autumn, corps officers and church members will collect door-to-door or hold street collections for the ‘Big Collection’ with all funds going towards The Salvation Army’s support services.
Last year, The Salvation Army raised £1.2m for social and community services providing care for people in communities up and down the country. We have continued to keep people safe during the coronavirus pandemic and increase our capacity to serve those in desperate need.
We have kept our Lifehouses (for people experiencing homelessness) open together with operating care homes and safe houses safely, rehabilitating people that had been trafficked and rescued from modern-day slavery.
The Salvation Army also responded swiftly to the needs of local communities by expanding its network of food banks and mobilising regional food distribution hubs. We also distributed food parcels and meals to families and street homeless housed in temporary accommodation, working with local authorities.
This year, due to the pandemic, corps are thinking imaginatively about how they might be able to raise funds through sponsorship or special events.
Leaders, Majors Lindsay and Stephen Brevitt from Dunstable corps (church) wanted to do something different for the ‘Big Collection’ this year and so, considered what they could do from their own back garden, adhering to social distancing. Major Lindsay wanted to do a sponsored sleep-out, to experience some of the realities of sleeping rough for a night.
Her and husband, Stephen slept outside, in the side yard of their home on 21 August. Major Lindsay said: “This has given us just a glimpse of how it is for those who don’t have a roof over their head at night and what it must be like when its wet and cold and not in a protected corner, in sight of home”.
The Brevitt’s chose a summer night to sleep out and although they had some broken sleep, they didn’t experience the dangers of sleeping rough in open urban or rural areas, or in low or freezing temperatures.
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