Annual Sleep Out to end homelessness returns to Edinburgh City Chambers this March
On Friday March 11, individuals and communities across Scotland will leave the comfort of their beds to take part in the Big Bethany Sleep Out.
Their goal is to raise awareness and vital funds in support of people experiencing homelessness in Scotland.
For the past 19 years, The Big Bethany Sleep Out has taken place in Edinburgh, Glasgow and other locations across Scotland, becoming a local fundraising fixture. Recognised for engaging communities around the nation to take a collective stand against homelessness, the event has raised over £400,000 pounds to date.
Despite the pandemic, last year’s iteration, Sleep Out At Home was a great success. Fundraisers of all ages swapped their warm beds to sleep in back gardens, tents and cardboard forts at home, tuning in via Facebook Live to connect with other participants. The event raised over £25,000 with 100% of the proceeds going to Bethany’s life-saving work.
This year, The Big Bethany Sleep Out is back in person - outside at Edinburgh City Chambers, with the option to join in virtually (from home) still available. The event will begin at 9pm with a presentation on preparing for the night, followed by live music and other activities, before participants proceed to Sleep Out under the stars. Hot drinks will be available throughout the cold night, and courtesy of charity partner, Rapid Relief Team UK, a cooked breakfast will be provided in the morning.
Since 1983, Bethany Christian Trust has been working to end homelessness in Scotland. Through services including outreach, housing, support, advocacy and community development, the charity supports almost 7,000 people each year across Scotland.
Cameron Black, director of crisis intervention at Bethany Christian Trust, said: “The Big Bethany Sleep Out is an incredible event. It has been so much fun for everyone involved year after year. We are really excited about having the event back in the City Chambers, with people joining from home too. The thing is that it isn’t just fun, it’s raising vital funds and awareness for people who have no option but to sleep out. Thank you so much to everyone who gives up their bed for this purpose, maybe this year you could join?”
Previous Bethany Sleep Out participant, Bridget Blackmore added: “Every time I have been amazed at the amount of money I have raised and the sponsors who have thanked me for doing this to enable them to give, but not have to leave the comfort of their own beds! To someone considering signing up, I would say do it. One uncomfortable night is nothing compared with … the great things you will enable Bethany to do with the money you raise.”