Friday 5 October 2018

Emmaus Gloucestershire joins The Big Sleep Out for World Homeless Day

Emmaus companion Michael

This World Homeless Day, formerly homeless people living at Emmaus Gloucestershire will spend a night outside to help raise awareness of the issues facing rough sleepers across the county.

On Wednesday 10 October, two Emmaus staff members, eight companions, and one trustee, will join over 50 local business leaders at The Big Sleep Out 2018 from 7pm – 7am within the grounds of Gloucester Rugby Club. Each participant will sleep outside for the duration of the night, and go to work as usual the next day.

The Big Sleep Out is an event organised by local charity Caring for Communities and People (CCP), and hopes to raise awareness of homelessness and generate funds to provide shelter during the colder climates. The charity works to prevent homelessness and support those who are already homeless into sustainable accommodation and aims to raise approximately £100,000 through the event.

Big Sleep Out participant Michael was homeless on-and-off from the age of seven, before finding Emmaus two years ago:

“I’m joining this year’s sleep out as I think it is important show that there are people who are formerly homeless and willing to lead the way and show that things can change for people. We will be going straight from the weekly soup kitchen in Gloucester city centre, where we distribute essential items to people on the streets, and hope that we will have the opportunity to share our experiences of homelessness with the other participants.

I want to show that there is hope out there for people facing homelessness, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. I found my hope at Emmaus Gloucestershire, and anything that can be done to raise awareness of the issues homeless people face is important.”

Emmaus Gloucestershire provides a home for as long as needed and meaningful work for up to 31 Emmaus companions who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion, offering them an alternative route out of homelessness within a supportive environment. Companions gain valuable skills through working in the charity’s five charity shops in Cheltenham, Stroud, Nailsworth, and Gloucester. All funds generated from each shop helps to support the Emmaus Gloucestershire community.

“The Emmaus Gloucestershire community is extremely proud of those who are joining The Big Sleep Out. One of the most important parts of our ethos is what we call solidarity: helping someone less fortunate than yourself. We are committed to regular acts of solidarity, showing that everyone has the capacity to make a difference to the lives of others.”

Chief Executive of Emmaus Gloucestershire Joe Feeley

To find out more about The Big Sleep Out 2018, or to sponsor a participant, visit www.ccp.org.uk/Appeal/ccp-sleepout.

To find out more about Emmaus Gloucestershire, visit www.emmaus.org.uk/gloucestershire.