12 October 2017
Church Urban Fund is inviting churches and communities to take part in the Advent Sleepout Challenge to help people struggling with homelessness and marginalisation.
Groups across the country are being encouraged to give up a night’s comfort to support the Advent Sleepout Challenge 2017, a national sponsored event taking place for the third time to raise funds to help marginalised people across England (in previous years people from St Nicholas Church in Newport, Lincoln, have taken part in the Advent Sleepout Challenge).
In 2016 there were as many as 4,134 people sleeping rough in England. This figure has risen every year since 2010.
Since 2015, the Advent Sleepout Challenge has raised £165,000 to support night shelters across England through the Church Urban Fund’s Together programme. Last winter the Church Urban Fund were able to provide 4,000 beds in these night shelters thanks to support from the Advent Sleepout Challenge.
The Together programme (partnerships between the Church Urban Fund and local dioceses) supports night shelters that warmly welcome guests, build their self-esteem and confidence, and support them into work and permanent accommodation.
Canon Paul Hackwood, Executive Director of Church Urban Fund, has said: “When churches, youth groups, and friends choose to take part in the Advent Sleepout Challenge we are able to reach out to more and more people who are experiencing homelessness in England today and welcome them into warm and caring night shelters. Please use this Advent as an opportunity to do something practical to help marginalised people in England.”
Further information about the Advent Sleepout Challenge is available at www.sleepoutchallenge.org.uk