We’re not kidding ourselves that spending a night in a sleeping bag, secure in the knowledge that we’re being watched over by stewards, is anything like the hardship that the homeless have to endure 24/7.
This event is simply about doing something a little bit different and, in so doing, raising awareness for the valuable work that Simon on the Streets carry out on a daily basis.
That said, for those of who are fortunate enough to have a roof over our heads 365 days a year, a night under the stars (or more likely clouds – this is the north) can be something of a shock to the system.
With one sleep-out already under our belt we consider ourselves to be experts in the art of pseudo-rough sleeping, so here are our 6 top tips for surviving the night.
1) A sleeping bag is a must.
If possible, find one you can zip all the way over your head to protect yourself from the inevitable shower at 3am.
2) Dress warmly.
Wear as many layers as you think you’ll need and then add a couple more. Some kind of headgear is also a good idea.
3) Skip the alcohol.
A few bevvies beforehand might seem like a good idea but extracting yourself from your sleeping bag in the middle of the night to find the toilets is never fun.
4) Don’t expect to get any sleep.
Even if you manage to stay warm, the noise from the wind and traffic can get surprisingly loud.
5) Tolerate the bugs and/or rats.
They’re not hungry, they’re just after the warmth in your sleeping bag and it would be rude not to share.
6) Don’t plan any heavy lifting for the next day.
You’ll be sleepy from lack of Zs and sore from the lack of mattress. Don’t be surprised if you experience an overwhelming urge to nap throughout the following day.
If you want to sleep in your garden as a show of solidarity, that’s up to you. But, otherwise, we warmly invite you to support Simon on the Streets by making a donation here: www.justgiving.com/grassgreener
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