Lions Club raise over £1k during sleep out

Banbridge Lions Club President Shane Burns and Lions Aaron McCrumlish, Marie Sharkey, Conor McShane, Peter Fairbairn, Neil McShane and Brian Noble braved the elements on their "sleep out" in Newry Street to raise awareness of the homeless and in support of the Simon Community. �Paul Byrne Photography INBL1640-225PB
Banbridge Lions Club President Shane Burns and Lions Aaron McCrumlish, Marie Sharkey, Conor McShane, Peter Fairbairn, Neil McShane and Brian Noble braved the elements on their "sleep out" in Newry Street to raise awareness of the homeless and in support of the Simon Community. �Paul Byrne Photography INBL1640-225PB

Seven members of Banbridge Lions Club completed their charity Sleep Out last Friday night and have raised nearly £1,700 in the process for the Simon Community.

Equipped with sleeping bags, cardboard and more than a few extra layers, the Lions met at 10pm outside Blend & Batch to start their inaugural Sleep Out challenge.

Lion President, Shane Burns said: “We were all conscious of being exposed to the elements and the possibility that we would need to huddle close to keep warm and it was the street noise that presented the biggest challenge”.

“Between taxis, delivery vans and road-sweepers, there was plenty to keep us awake through the small hours. But whilst we might not have had a great night’s sleep, we were all very mindful that we only had to do one night and ultimately, we knew we had the security of having a place to call home. Having experienced it for one night in relatively good conditions, it is hard to fathom how so many people in Northern Ireland are sleeping rough every night. We are delighted to have been able to raise this fantastic sum of money for the Simon Community which is doing fantastic work for the homeless people of Northern Ireland”.

Brian Shanks, of the Simon Community said: “We are so grateful to Banbridge Lions club for this superb effort. If you would like to hold your own Sleep out and would like some information on safety considerations please contact Simon Community Fundraising on 02890 232882 or email brianshanks@simoncommunity.org ”. If you missed the opportunity to make a donation in support of the Lions Sleep out, it’s not too late. You can visit www.justgiving.com/lionssleepout.