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Deputy Mayor and councillors sleep rough for homeless

November 17, 2009 10:59 AM
Streetbite logo

Streetbite logo

Cambridge's Deputy Mayor and leading city councillors will be sleeping rough next week to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless.

Sheila Stuart will join executive councillors Clare Blair, Julie Smith and Mike Pitt on Parker's Piece as they set out their sleeping bags to raise sponsorship money for charities working for the homeless.

They are giving their support to the 300-strong Sleepout planned by student group, Streetbite on November 28.

The event will support Jimmy's Night Shelter, Wintercomfort, Cambridge Cyrenians, Cambridge Link-up and Cambridge CRI Outreach.

Councillors Stuart, Blair and Pitt will support Wintercomfort while Cllr Smith raises money for Cambridge CRI Outreach.

"I am hoping that, by giving my support to this sleepout, I can make people think twice about the plight of those sleeping rough," said Cllr Stuart.

"Homelessness is a reality in our city and the charities this event is supporting are doing everything they can but they need our help."

Cllr Blair agreed. "This is a really worthwhile event," she said. "Hopefully it will not only raise a good amount of money for charity but it will also make people realise what it is actually like to be on the streets."

"It's the little things that I am going to miss," admitted Cllr Smith. "I thought about bringing a book to read and then realised it would be too dark. There are so many home comforts we take for granted.

"Homeless people are facing this scenario every single night of the year, no matter what the weather brings. And while everyone goes about his or her daily lives it is easy to forget."

"Homeless people are extremely vulnerable," said Cllr Mike Pitt. "Often homelessness has complex causes, and without addressing these, people can find themselves out on the streets again.

"I am hoping this Sleepout will make people think twice about homelessness and give generously to these charities."

Anyone wishing to sponsor the councillors can do so on line. To sponsor Clare Blair visit http://www.justgiving.com/Clare-Blair

To sponsor Mike Pitt visit http://www.justgiving.com/Mike-Pitt0

For Sheila Stuart visit http://www.justgiving.com/Sheila-Stuart

To sponsor Julie Smith visit http://www.facebook.com and visit Julie Elizabeth Smith's events page.