On Friday 6 November hundreds of people will join The Manchester Sleepout to highlight some of the hardships that homeless people face every single night. Brave participants have accepted the challenge to sleep outside Manchester Cathedral to help raise awareness and funds for the work of the Booth Centre, a homeless day centre in the city.
The number of homeless people in the Greater Manchester area is increasing. Over 220 people visit the centre each week, most are facing numerous challenges on top of their housing issues such as alcohol or drug addiction or severe mental and physical health problems. The Booth Centre has been offering activities, advice and support for homeless people in Manchester for the past 20 years.
The Manchester Sleepout will raise funds to help the Booth Centre to continue to help people move off the streets and make positive changes to rebuild their lives, just like Dave…
‘I lost my job, my relationship broke down and I ended up homeless. I slept rough for 7 months, it was a very dark and scary time in my life. I heard about the Booth Centre through other people on the street and I went along for some help. They helped me get into stable accommodation, and with the support of the centre, I’ve been able to stay in my own flat for 4 years now.
They are always there for me, even though I’m not homeless anymore, they’re still helping me every single day. I volunteer in the kitchen at the centre. It gives me a purpose to my day, a reason to get up, and it’s my way of helping other people like the Booth Centre helped me.
I would encourage anyone who’s thinking about it to get involved with the Sleepout on 6 November. You can experience first-hand a small part of what people have to go through every night, and by supporting the Booth Centre you’ll be doing something really good for homeless people in our city. Nobody should have to live on the streets.’
Sharman Birtles, The High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, is proud to be amongst the participants for the 2015 Manchester Sleepout. During a recent visit to the Booth Centre, Sharman told the Booth Centre why she wanted to get involved:
‘I’m lucky, I have a home and a warm bed, and a support network around me. This is my small way of helping those in our community who aren’t so lucky and have to sleep out on the streets night after night. I really admire the work of the Booth Centre, so I wanted to do my bit by joining their Sleepout this year.’
The Manchester Sleepout has been kindly supported by staff at local tea room, Propertea at Manchester Cathedral, so participants can look forward to a breakfast treat after their challenge under the stars!
Anyone interested in joining the Sleepout for the Booth Centre can register by visiting: www.boothcentre.org.uk or by contacting the centre on 0161 835 2499.