On 18th November, the Students’ Union Officers of the University of Nottingham (UoN) slept outside for a night to raise awareness for homelessness.
The event, better known as The Big Sleep Out, was to raise money for Framework, a charity and housing association dedicated to preventing homelessness and improving living quality in Nottinghamshire.
Rough sleeping in Nottingham is a huge problem and is currently the highest it has been in 20 years.
“It was horrendous! I got 0 hours sleep”
Ellie Mitchell, the SU Community Officer and the Project Creator of The Big Sleep Out, told Impact: “I believe the money raised by Framework can definitely go some way towards solving the problem.”
SU Activities Officer, Martin Nguyen, described the night as “life-changing”. He told Impact that despite being fully “equipped” with a hat and scarf, the terrible coldness made it difficult to sleep.
Despite the freezing weather, Martin was still able to sleep for 6 hours. Other officers like Cassie and Ellie, however, did not manage to get any sleep at all.
“we have our houses or shelters, but they don’t”
Of her experience, Ellie said: “It was horrendous! I got 0 hours sleep, my sleeping bag froze on top of me, I had ice in my hair – and I probably had 7 more layers on than most homeless people, and got to look forward to going back to my bed in the morning. It was a really eye-opening experience and I am so sad knowing that this is the everyday reality for some people.”
Talking about the experience, Martin said that it made him sympathize with people who sleep on the streets every single day, especially considering that “we have our houses or shelters, but they don’t.”
Currently, they have been able to raise £713. If interested in donating money then the fundraising page is still open until tomorrow, Thursday 30 November by midnight.