More than 100 people gave up the comfort of their beds for the night and slept outside in the cold to support young people facing homelessness.
Aldershot-based charity Step by Step held its annual Sleep Out event at Farnborough Business Park, inviting participants to brave a cold, damp night to raise funds and awareness for young people going through tough times.
The event was a great success and raised more than £14,000, which will help make a genuine difference to dozens of young lives.
The evening was kick-started by Rock Choir greeting the sleepers with an array of upbeat numbers, while a team from the army’s 27 Regiment RLC cooked up a barbecue.
The event took on a more reflective mood when two guest speakers took to the stage. Volunteer Jasmine spoke of her own experiences of being homeless and the need for services such as those Step by Step provide.
Next up was supported lodgings host Debbie, who spoke about her many years’ working with Step by Step and the dozens of young people she has helped move on to brighter futures.
Some fantastic musical performances rounded off the evening, before it was lights out and time to hunker down under the park’s iconic hanger skeleton.
It was a long, cold night, with earlier rain meaning that sleeping bags and pillows were sodden.
Although it was a tough experience, it couldn’t possibly replicate the true misery and fear of sleeping rough night after night.
It did, however, make everyone appreciate how lucky they were and how there were hundreds of young people in the UK without such good fortune.
Step by Step prevents homelessness for hundreds of young people each year, as well as providing life-skills training, counselling and well-being support.