24 Feb 2016

Housing and Planning

Annual Sleep Out - Homeless Awareness Week

Media opportunity
Friday 26 February
 
Annual Sleep Out
Photographers / camera crews and reporters are invited to attend.

Who?
Mayor George Ferguson will join a range of charities and organisations for his fourth annual sleep out to raise awareness of the plight of homeless people in Bristol, and the work being done by so many organisations to help them.

When?
10pm onwards.

Where?
Pip ‘n’ Jay Church, Tower Hill, Bristol BS2 0ET
 
To confirm your attendance, please email Paul Hazelden
paul@hazelden.org.uk or on the day call 07816 893 676.
 
Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson will once again be taking part in the annual sponsored sleep-out to help highlight the issue of homelessness in the city.
 
The Bristol Homelessness Awareness Week (February 20th-26th) aims to raise awareness of homelessness, those at risk of becoming homeless and the issues facing rough sleepers.

The Sleep Out, organised by the Bristol Homeless Forum, marks the culmination of the week.

Paul Hazelden, one of the organisers of the Sleep Out, said: “It's wonderful to see what each of the groups are doing as they work to help homeless people, and work to help people avoid becoming homeless.

“One of the joys of the Sleep Out is that people from many different groups all come together, so we meet and talk and get to know each other, and understand a bit better what other groups are doing to help.

“We need to work together better, and getting to know each other is an important part of that. 

“We also get to raise vital funds to keep the work going - so if you are not sleeping out on Friday 26, please sponsor someone who is! Thank you.”
 
More than 200 people are expected to take part in the event at the Pip ‘n’ Jay Church from 10pm on Friday 26 February.
 
There is a whole range of services available to help people worried about losing their home – but one of the key messages of the week is to make people aware that it is important to act before it is too late.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Much has been achieved since I slept out in February last year, yet the high number of rough sleepers in Bristol, as elsewhere, has, due to a number of factors including changes to welfare, increased to an alarming level.

“On previous sleep-outs I have met some fascinating Bristol characters and heard some inspirational stories from others taking part in the Sleep Out. Everyone takes part for a very important purpose, to raise awareness and offer support to people affected by homelessness.

“The message is simple, we all have to work together to do everything we can to tackle this problem. There is help out there from a range of organisations, so if you know anyone you think is at risk, make sure they seek advice and support as soon as possible.”

The week got underway with an art exhibition featuring contributions from St Mungo’s and the Big Issue.

And this was followed by a number of partners opening their doors to the general public to provide the opportunity to understand the range of support and services available to homeless people and those at risk of homelessness.

Further details about the sleep-out can be found at
http://bristolhf.org.uk/
 
Further information about the help available for anyone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless is available at the council’s website at
http://www.bristol.gov.uk/homeless