A POPULAR charity event is celebrating coming to Basingstoke as friends and family are challenged to sleep outside as vulnerable people in the community are supported.

Local homelessness charity Julian House’s Big Sleep-Out event is coming to Basingstoke on Friday, February 22.

Families, friends, and colleagues are being challenged to sleep outside to support the charity’s work supporting vulnerable people in the community. The event will take place at the May’s Bounty Sports ground in Basingstoke.

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Matthew Redmore, event organiser, said: “After years of successful sleepout events in Bath and the brilliant response to our virtual event last year we are delighted to be bringing the Big Sleep-Out to Basingstoke. Whilst we would love people to come and join us at May’s Bounty Sports ground, those that can’t choose to sleep in their gardens, or on a cold kitchen floor.

“We’re hoping that by giving our supporters the option to sleep at home, the event will appeal to a wider audience and encourage more people to take a step out of their comfort zone. It gives people the option to join this special eye-opening event wherever they are and raise money and awareness to help people who are forced to sleep out every night. The event is not supposed to replicate what it’s like to have to sleep rough.

"After all, those taking part can go home in the morning, have a warm shower, put on some dry and clean clothes, even go back to bed and catch up on some sleep. Those sleeping rough often have no idea when they will next get a warm, dry bed. The event is about raising awareness and much-needed funds to help homeless and vulnerable people.”

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In March 2021, due to the pandemic, the planned event in the War Memorial Park was cancelled and Julian House encouraged supporters to sleep out at home. Due to positive feedback, the charity have decided to create a hybrid sleep out where participants can choose where they would like to take on the challenge.

Last year Julian House provided life-changing support to over 1,500 vulnerable individuals who were experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

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