Could you face the cold of an autumn night with nothing but cardboard and a sleeping bag to keep you warm?
That’s the question members of Banbridge Lions Club are asking as they prepare to do exactly that.
On Friday September 30, the club will host its inaugural “Sleep Out” event outside Blend and Batch coffee house.
Members are hoping this event will raise the profile and stark reality of homelessness, which is happening right on our doorstep.
The group feel that while we may not see anyone sleeping rough in Banbridge, the harsh truth is you don’t have to be sleeping rough to be homeless for there are people who are “sofa-surfing”, squatting, sleeping in cars and sleeping at friends’ houses.
Reminding people that it is said many of us are just one pay cheque away from homelessness, the event will take place regardless of the weather, as most homeless people likewise have no choice.
Shane Burns, President of Banbridge Lions Club said: “We are delighted to be able to help the Simon Community with this event. I would like to thank the dedicated members of the Lions Club, and indeed non-members, who are joining me on this event.
“I would also appeal to the generous people of Banbridge to give their support”.
Funds raised through will go towards Simon Community NI, who support people experiencing homelessness across Northern Ireland.
Brian Shanks, Simon Community NI Fund Raising Coordinator said: “We so appreciate the efforts of Banbridge Lions Club. Donations from the general public help us provide support and accommodation for thousands of people every year and we wish all the participants the best of luck and a dry night!”
Donations can be made via any Banbridge Lions Club member or via our justgiving page which is at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/LionsSleepOut.
You can also follow the event at www.facebook.com/banbridgelions.