Big Easter Family Sleepout

On Thursday 1st April the organisers of the CEO Sleepout launched the Big Easter Sleepout so that people from around the UK could take part in a sleepout from their gardens to raise vital funds to support their chosen charities and raise awareness of homelessness. 120 people joined the event from Newcastle to Plymouth and everywhere in between and tuned in via video linkup to share the experience and hear from the 10 charities involved in the event. We’re so thankful that some of our supporters slept out and raised funds for Barnabus. We first met John Terry at BNI Beyond; he has been a faithful supporter and one of our 30th anniversary charity calendar sponsors. This is his blog about the sleepout:

I decided to take part in the Big Easter Sleep Out for Barnabus, as I’d learnt a little about the great work they do helping the homeless in Manchester from a BNI business network group in the city. I’d also learned that unfortunately, during the pandemic, the numbers of people experiencing homelessness has risen. Barnabus fundraising has also been severely affected, due to the cancellation of many events they normally rely on.  I’d heard about some of their events before, but I hadn’t got myself organised or I put it off until the next time, so this time I decided I wasn’t going to put it off again and I signed up to spend a night sleeping in my garden to raise vital funds for people experiencing homelessness.

So, what did I learn from the experience?

  1. As the temperature went down to zero, I thought I was well prepared, in a tent, with a decent sleeping bag, thick socks & thermals. I wasn’t.  How people survive in a prolonged spell of cold-weather without the equipment I had is impossible to comprehend.   
  2. The effects on physical & mental health of sleep deprivation are huge. So don’t be too quick to judge someone having a doze during the day!
  3. Sleeping bags are essential, even for nights when temperatures aren’t at zero. 
  4. Barnabus helps people get off the streets by referring them into accommodation, when the weather is severe or temperatures are low & helps people find permanent accommodation. Funds for this are vital.
  5. One night is just a small taste of the “homeless experience.” I’m fortunate & much more appreciative of a hot shower, hot coffee & hot food & my warm bed!!
  6. I’ve managed to raise just over £800, so far through the generosity of my friends & family, which has been amazing & made the whole experience, so worthwhile.  So if you're thinking of doing an event, please don’t put it off.  You’ll be so glad you went through with it.

You can still donate and support John here.

If you’ve been inspired to hold a sleepout you can hold one anytime with your family or household and raise funds for us we would love to hear from you.

Manchester CEO Sleepout
If you are a business leader or a CEO, the CEO Sleepout is returning to Manchester this October. Join with our CEO Yvonne Hope and other compassionate business leaders to give up your bed for one night to sleep out at Emirates Old Trafford, raising funds for Barnabus to bring life changing support to people experiencing homelessness.

Are you up for the challenge? Sign up here.