'The Big Sleep Out' is back in Chichester and Arun

Residents are invited to Chichester Cathedral grounds this Saturday (October 16) for an event designed to raise awareness of homelessness.

The Big Sleep Out, organised by local homelessness charity Stonepillow, will see participants gathering in the Chichester cathedral grounds on Saturday (October 16), building shelter, and settling in for families entertainment and activities.

By sleeping outside for the night, participants are hoping to raise money for the charity, which provides a path to recovery for rough sleepers throughout the Chichester and Arun area. Organisers hope a big, visible display on the effects of homelessness will bring more attention to the issue, both with winter around the corner and World Homeless Day having taken place on Sunday (October 10).

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Alongside the afternoon's entertainments, there is also due to be an ecumenical 'celebration of life' service at the Cathedral, giving participants a chance to reflect on all those lost during the pandemic.

The Big Sleep Out will take place in Chichester Cathedral this Saturday. Photo credit: Stonepillow

Those unable to join the main group of fundraisers at the Cathedral have been invited to celebrate in the same way at home: "Why not create your own 'Big Sleep Out at Home' and enjoy the same experience. Throw a party and invite your family and friends to join you. Build your shelter anywhere you like, indoors or outdoors, just be as imaginative as you can," a spokesperson said.

"It doesn’t matter where you sleep, just give up your comfy bed for one night to remember, help and support the people that don’t have their own bed. By getting involved, you will help raise funds desperately needed for Stonepillow to continue delivering existing and new services which respond to the ever-increasing needs of those most vulnerable in our communities throughout Arun and Chichester."

To take part, visit stonepillow.org.uk