Walking a mile in their shoes: A night with the Peterborough Big Sleep Out

Walking a mile in their shoes: A night with the Peterborough Big Sleep Out

Richard in his sleeping bag.

At Active Care Group, we believe in the power of empathy and action. That’s why when our Director of Talent Acquisition, Richard Young, recently took part in the Peterborough Big Sleep Out, we couldn’t be prouder to support him. Here’s Richard’s first-hand account of his experience on the cold streets of Peterborough:

One Rough Night – “Peterborough Big Sleep Out” Friday 8 March 2024

“On Friday 8 March, my son, George, and I embarked on an eye-opening journey a night of sleeping rough to raise awareness for The Light Project in Peterborough. Alongside 87 other participants, we gathered at the Peterborough United Stadium for the Big Sleep Out.

“The Garden House, a homeless hub managed by The Light Project, provides vital support to those in need. Hearing that 743 individuals sought assistance there between April and December last year alone was staggering. Peterborough, with its population of 200,000, mirrors the growing homelessness crisis seen across many cities. Meeting Charles, a young man who felt invisible, shook me to the core and propelled me to take action.

“Arriving at the stadium at 7 pm, the atmosphere was starkly different from the lively football matches I’d attended. We were allocated a small space beneath the grandstand, where we settled in for the night. Despite being shielded from the elements, the cold seeped through, reminding us of the harsh reality faced by rough sleepers every night.

“Lying on a makeshift bed of cardboard, discomfort plagued me throughout the night. But it was the stories of individuals like Roy and Brian, who battled homelessness and found solace at the Garden House, that kept me awake. Their resilience in the face of adversity was both humbling and inspiring.

“The night echoed with the chorus of snores and the occasional chuckle at peculiar sounds. Amidst the discomfort, I couldn’t shake off the thought of the physical and mental toll that sleeping rough takes on individuals.

“As dawn broke, the biting cold served as a stark reminder of the privilege of having a warm bed to return to. Reflecting on the experience, I felt a mix of gratitude and concern. While we raised £830 towards a total of £26,000, the pressing issue of homelessness loomed large.

“This experience has heightened my awareness, prompting me to pledge further support to the Garden House and similar initiatives. It’s clear that more needs to be done to tackle homelessness across the country, and I’m committed to playing my part.”

At Active Care Group, we’re committed to making a positive impact in our communities. Join us in standing up for those experiencing homelessness and supporting initiatives that offer hope and assistance to those in need.