On the 10th October Canterbury College Students’ Union held a sponsored sleepout at the Canterbury campus in order to raise awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness in the local area. Together we raised money for Catching Lives, a local charity providing food, clothing and sanitation from its open centre located close to Canterbury East Station.
Staff and students were invited to join College Principal Lucy McLeod and SU President Jessica Foster to support the homeless and homeless charities. The sleep-out was held on the college grounds and those involved spent the night under the stars – no tents allowed. The Students’ Union provided cardboard and water to participants and the catering department ran a soup kitchen to emulate the lives of those sleeping rough.
Sponsor money went direct to Catching Lives to help them tackle the issues faced by the centre’s users.
Eve Stedman, who studies Public Services, said "I really wanted to do this as I have been in a difficult situation myself and was lucky to have the support of my family. It made me realise that not everyone has family or friends to help them and that every homeless person has a story to tell about how they ended up where they are."
Jessica Foster Student Union President said “I am so proud of everyone who supported me and joined in last night. At first I was anxious but I am glad that we had a mild night and everyone enjoyed themselves and we have raised over £600. All of the money we have made from this event will go straight to Catching Lives and their centre in Canterbury.”
Graeme Solly, Project Leader said "We are delighted that students and staff at Canterbury College completed a sleepout on World Homeless Day to help us raise awareness of rough sleeping in Canterbury. The services Catching Lives provides to rough sleepers from our daycentre, such as meals, showers, laundry, access to staff who can help them find accommodation and a chance to see our volunteers nurses, relies on the support of our local community to continue to exist. Homelessness affects all areas of our community and each individual really can make a positive difference, as shown by those who took part, or sponsored people, on the 10th October."