A group of 14 teenagers from St Paul’s Church in Addlestone recently held a sleep out, where they slept outside overnight to raise money for Transform Housing & Support’s winter shelter
Over £1,500 was donated which was presented to the Vice Chairman of Transform and High Sheriff of Surrey 2015/16, Elizabeth Kennedy, and The Mayor of Runnymede, Cllr Derek Cotty (pictured) at a special ceremony held at the church on Sunday.
The shelter was launched in partnership with Runnymede, Spelthorne and Elmbridge Borough Councils and local partners to provide basic accommodation and hot meals for local homeless people, who would otherwise be sleeping rough during the coldest and wettest time of the year. The shelter, which operates from the beginning of January until the end of March, also provides homeless people with advice and support to get them off the streets for good.
Elizabeth Kennedy said:
“Whilst Surrey is a largely affluent area, homelessness does exist. We thank the young people who took part in the sleep out for their continued support in raising much needed funds and awareness for the winter shelter. I would also like to thank everyone who donated for their generous support which will ensure homeless people have a warm, dry place to stay this winter.”
Runnymede Borough Council’s Chief Executive Paul Turrell said:
“Runnymede young people continue to impress me every day with the dedication they show in helping the community. Working in partnership with Transform has enabled us to provide an important service to the most vulnerable people in our community during the winter months.”
Emily, 16, who took part in the sleep out said:
“It was really good to experience how homeless people have to sleep out each night in winter, giving us a greater insight and passion for the cause.”
St Paul’s Church Vicar, Rev Ben Beecroft said:
“This is the second year running the young people have held the sleep out. I am incredibly proud of the passion and commitment of our young people for those who are vulnerable, that motivated them to stay out all through a rainy, rough winter night.”