Worthing students get inventive with locations for Little Big Sleep Out

Under the stairs, on a pool table and in a hammock were just some of the places Worthing students chose for their Little Big Sleep Out, raising money for two charities that support the homeless in the area.

Chatsmore Catholic High School staff and parents joined to students for the event last Saturday and together, they raised more than £1,100, which will be shared between Worthing-based charity Turning Tides and Chichester-based charity Stonepillow.

Head teacher Peter Byrne said: “I am incredibly proud of what our students have achieved. Not only did they raise an amazing sum of money for the most vulnerable people in society but they also provided a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together, albeit online, as we played games and heard our students read their scary stories before bed.”

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Some found unusual places to sleep, like shelters, rooftops, garages, sheds, tents, under the stars in plastic bags and on trampolines, and a few were joined by unexpected bedfellows.

Chatsmore Catholic High School's Little Big Sleep Out

Student Tom Scott said: “I slept in a plastic bag and a cat, not ours, joined me.”

The sleep out included a whole evening of activities, starting with an introduction and a lovely prayer, read out by Mr Byrne’s daughter, Hope.

Sarah Dakin, fundraising and communications manager at Stonepillow, gave a talk, explaining how the money raised would be used.

Parent Liz Angioini, who organised the event with outdoor learning leader Philip Dean and a team of student leaders, said: “The whole thing was emotionally warming. Seeing all the families and teachers engaged, virtually together, having fun and laughing for a good cause lifted my spirits no end.”

Chatsmore Catholic High School's Little Big Sleep Out

The student Dream Team, including Theo Angioni, Molly England and Ellena Meakins, set up some challenges, games and a quiz, which was hotly contested by all.

Steffie Boulding, Lily’s mum, said: “It was so well organised, with such a range of nice interactive activities. My daughter loved it, she enjoyed seeing teachers and friends, who she’d missed. Staff went above and beyond, letting Lily read her story out.”

As darkness fell, Elliot Meakins told a scary story and everyone started to settle down to sleep.

Student Bryony Frogley said: “It was very fun and we had a great time listening to the stories and attempting the challenges. Even though it was very cold, it was a great night and a great experience.”

Chatsmore Catholic High School's Little Big Sleep Out

Mellisa Cooper was watching the stars and satellites, with Max the dog standing guard. They were very cold, so did not stay out the whole night, but said it made them think how cold the homeless must be every night.

Student Molly Gunner said: “I slept on a trampoline but made sure I had decorated it with pretty lights. My cats joined me, too. They thought I was bonkers and were looking at me as if to say why are you out here?

“It got very cold and I now know why quite a few homeless people choose to sleep in the day because they are probably awake and very cold at night.”

For more information and to make a donation, visit donatemyschool.com/chatsmorecatholichighschool2244

A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, I am asking you to please purchase a copy of our newspapers.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspapers.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

Stay safe, and best wishes.